Social Robots for Supporting Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

Guy Laban, Ziv Ben-Zion, Emily S. Cross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychiatric disorder with profound public health impact due to its high prevalence, chronic nature, accompanying functional impairment, and frequently occurring comorbidities. Early PTSD symptoms, often observed shortly after trauma exposure, abate with time in the majority of those who initially express them, yet leave a significant minority with chronic PTSD. While the past several decades of PTSD research have produced substantial knowledge regarding the mechanisms and consequences of this debilitating disorder, the diagnosis of and available treatments for PTSD still face significant challenges. Here, we discuss how novel therapeutic interventions involving social robots can potentially offer meaningful opportunities for overcoming some of the present challenges. As the application of social robotics-based interventions in the treatment of mental disorders is only in its infancy, it is vital that careful, well-controlled research is conducted to evaluate their efficacy, safety, and ethics. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that robotics-based solutions could advance the quality, availability, specificity and scalability of care for PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number752874
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • affective computing
  • affective science
  • emotion
  • human-robot interaction
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • social robots
  • trauma

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