Promoting Lifestyle Change through Medical Avatars

Promoting Lifestyle Change through Medical Avatars

Ramanakumar Anam (Miami VA Healthcare System, USA), Allen D. Andrade (Mount Sinai Medical Center, USA) and Jorge G. Ruiz (Miami VA Healthcare System, USA & University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch026
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Background: Internet-Based E-Health Programs

Internet-based e-health programs, which work well for motivated learners, can overcome some of the cost, resource and access challenges associated with face-to-face instructions. However, these programs are less likely to be used or effect change when dealing with fully functional busy persons. E-health programs that improve knowledge, skills, and change behavior generally fall short when learners are not formally enrolled, motivated, and/or rewarded for their participation (Ahern, 2007; Eysenbach, 2005). Automated Internet interventions often report attrition of up to 80% with no follow up data collected (CHRISTENSEN, Griffiths, Mackinnon, & Brittliffe, 2006; Eysenbach, 2005). A systematic study conducted of Internet-based randomized controlled trials concluded that these trials typically experience high rates of loss to follow-up (Mathieu, McGeechan, Barratt, & Herbert, 2012). With such high attrition rates what we need is a more personalized, accessible, efficient, yet cost effective approach for patients to become confident and competent about their own health. Medical avatar technology promises to offer such an approach to enhance interactive online self-management programs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Behavior Modification: Altering an individual’s behaviors. ( Martin & Pear, 1992 ).

Multimedia Learning: The delivery of instructional content using multiple modes that include visual and auditory information ( Elliot, 2009 ).

Lifestyle Change: Changes in habits and attitudes such as diet, physical activity, sexual behavior, smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance use.

Computer-Based Instruction: Use of the computer in the delivery of instruction. Example: Web-based seminars, Web-based modules, and/or CD/DVD. ( Kulik & Kulik, 1991 ).

Health Promotion: The process of assisting people to improve, and to increase control over, their health. (Organization, 2005 AU76: The in-text citation "Organization, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Unhealthy Behavior: A patterned behavior that is harmful to physical or mental health ( Berkman & Breslow, 1986 ).

Medical Avatars: Avatar technology used for health care purpose.

Avatar: A digital representation of the user or the user's alter ego or as a character ( Lessig, 1999 ).

E-Health Programs: Healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication. ( Della Mea, 2001 ).

Pedagogical Agents: Animated digitalized characters in multimedia learning, designed to facilitate learning. ( N. L. Schroeder & Adesope, 2013 ).

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