UCLIC Research Seminar Series
Traditional approaches to psychotherapy emphasise face-to-face contact between patients and therapists, while current computerised approaches tend to minimise this contact. This can limit the range of mental health difficulties for which computerised approaches are effective. In this talk, Kathy will present the results of project that took the user-centred design approach to developing an online platform for delivering therapy for depression: from early co-design workshops and interviews, through role-play sessions, to an 11-month evaluation study in which 17 patients received treatment for depression via the platform developed during the project. Results show that design decisions can have a significant impact on the dynamics of therapeutic sessions and the establishment of patient-therapist relationships, including unintended (although not necessarily negative) consequences. Such effects have implications for developing other digital health products.
Dr Katarzyna (Kathy) Stawarz is a Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at the School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, and Honorary Lecturer at University of Bristol. Her research interests and expertise are in the use of ubiquitous technologies to support health and wellbeing. She is interested in how mobile devices, distributed systems, and smart materials could be used to support healthy habits by leveraging people's environment and their daily routines. In a broader sense, she is interested in ethical design, the "dark side" of digital health and unintended consequences, as well as building inclusive digital health technologies. Before moving to academia, she worked as a freelance UX Designer and as Business Intelligence Analyst at a large media company. She also co-founded Knry, an innovation startup that worked together with firefighters to develop an interactive wearable safety system.