Loneliness is a growing public health issue that has been exacerbated in vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Computer agents are capable of delivering psychological therapies through the internet; however, there is limited research on their acceptability to date.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate (1) the feasibility and acceptability of a remote loneliness and stress intervention with digital human delivery to at-risk adults and (2) the feasibility of the study methods in preparation for a randomized controlled trial.
The study found that digital humans are a promising and novel technological solution for providing at-risk adults with access to remote psychological support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research should further examine design techniques to improve their acceptability in this application and investigate intervention effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial.