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Clare&me study: investigation of user behavior and human-AI-interactions

Due to the rise of digital methods in mental health, contemporary artificial intelligence (AI), specifically machine learning, is actively employed in creating predictive, detection, and therapeutic tools for mental healthcare. Concerning treatment, there are approaches to integrate AI into digital interventions, especially web and mobile applications, aiming to improve user engagement and refine tailored mental health support. However, while chatbots designed for mental health exhibit potential, additional research is necessary to secure more robust conclusions and validate their efficacy across larger sample sizes and extended periods.

One of our core values at clare&me is to allow for positive user impact. To work on this goal it is essential to ground Clare in science, investigate user experience and the impact of Clare. Especially with the delicate topic of mental health, scientific research in order to ensure credibility and a positive impact on humans is essential.

What is the aim of the study?

The aim is to scientifically examine and discuss the current state of research on the treatment of mental disorders with the help of artificial intelligence. Therefore we decided to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of a Clare, a self-help program based on artificial intelligence (AI) for the general population. Generally speaking, we are curious to learn more about user interactions with Clare, expectations regarding an AI voice bot, how user experience Clare and what impact Clare has on its users. Clare is a conversational AI, drawing on speech and text and we are highly interested in what users expect from Clare, how their experience is like and what psychological effects the interaction with an AI bot has on its users.

The study takes place in cooperation with The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Charité – Berlin University Medicine). The Charité has committed to exploring innovative approaches, including digital health solutions and therefore this is a great fit. In this exploratory study, questions of implementation and effectiveness will be investigated: Is an AI-based self-help tool feasible in the general population and what are the media-specific characteristics? What are the effects of interacting with an AI on psychosocial well-being?

Clare does not aim to replace human interaction; it doesn’t intend to provide psychotherapeutic treatment or replace trained psychologists or outpatient psychotherapy. Clare is a highly complex innovation allowing for a synthetic relationship between humans and AI, which we are curious to learn about and investigate.

Who can take part in the study?

People can take part in the study

- who are between the ages of 18 and 65,

- who agree to leave a telephone number for the use of "Clare&me",

- who agree to leave a study e-mail address,

- who agree to take part in three internet surveys of approximately 30 minutes each and a very short survey after the first few days of using "Clare"

- have access to a mobile device and internet access for the duration of the study

- have sufficient knowledge of the English language.

How does the study work?

After giving consent, participants will be asked to take an initial 30-minute online survey. The survey will ask general questions about themselves, their reasons for using AI, their attitudes toward online interventions, and their current mental state. Over the course of 8 weeks there will be 2 more surveys. After completing the third survey, they will receive a second payment.

They can continue using "Clare" for free even after the study is over. Upon completion of this survey, you will receive the agreed compensation of 15 Euros as a token of appreciation for your time and dedication.

What happens during the study:

Over the course of 8 weeks, techniques are interactively learned on a call, e.g., to integrate mindfulness and acceptance-based processes (Allen, 2009) into everyday life, to reduce nighttime rumination (Teismann et al., 2012), or to strengthen self-regulation and formulate positive goals (Oettingen, 2015). In addition, there are reflections and techniques to promote self-compassion and to establish a helpful way of dealing with rumination and worry.


If you want to sign up to take part in this study here is the link:

https://www.clareandme.com/take-part-in-a-study


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the study please reach out to:

Study Management Team:
Study Coordinator: Lea Maria Schäfer (M.Sc. Psychology) & Head of Psychology at Clare&me

Study Director: Prof. Dr. Stephan Köhler, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

All questions will be answered by the study coordinator Lea Maria Schäfer (lea.schaefer@charite.de).

Sources:

Allen, M., Bromley, A., Kuyken, W., & Sonnenberg, S. J. (2009). Participants' experiences of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy:" It changed me in just about every way possible". Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy, 37(4), 413.

Oettingen, G. (2015). Rethinking positive thinking: Inside the new science of motivation. Current.

Teismann, T., Hanning, S., Von Brachel, R., & Willutzki, U. (2012). Kognitive Verhaltenstherapie depressiven Grübelns. Springer-Verlag.

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