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PhD Defence Aniek Lentferink | Quantified eCoaching for Resilience Training

Quantified eCoaching for Resilience Training

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the PhD defence of Aniek Lentferink will take place (partly) online.

The PhD defence can be followed by a live stream.

Aniek Lentferink is a PhD student in the research group Psychology, Health & Technology (PH&T). Her supervisor is prof.dr. J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen from the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Science (BMS).

 One in four European employees reported suffering from stress. Employees can be empowered to deal effectively with stress by building their capacity for resilience. A promising approach to guide this large group of employees in improving the capacity for resilience is through eHealth technology, and specifically the combination of self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching in eHealth technology. In current eHealth technologies, the combination is not optimally designed to make use of its full potential. Several methods were applied (a scoping review, interviews, focus groups, prototype testing, surveys, and log data) to identify how self-tracking and eCoaching should be designed to positively influence employees’ capacity for resilience, the usability of the design, and adherence to the intended use. A holistic approach was taken by including the concepts of participatory development and business modelling, and existing psychological theory on behaviour change. Results of this thesis led to the identification of seven main values for future design: (1) combination of self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching; (2) awareness on stress and the capacity for resilience; (3) guidance for users throughout the reflection process of users; (4) autonomy; (5) receptivity for reminders; (6) positivity as a driver for the uptake of the technology; and (7) human support. Via an integration of the results of this thesis and a reflection on the values using existing literature, design requirements and implementation requirements have been set up. An example of a design requirement is to apply the persuasive feature of reduction to support the user’s process of reflection. Reduction can stimulate the re-evaluation of stressful situations and the observation of trends and patterns in the data. This can increase employees' understanding of their current situation and what strategies to apply to show capacity for resilience. This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge of behaviour change via technology and has practical value for the development of such eHealth interventions. To increase the chance for successful implementation, future research could focus on implementation issues that were omitted in this thesis such as the distribution of the technology due to the focus of this thesis on the first phases of eHealth development.