Conversational Agents in Health Education:Protocol for a Scoping Review
Al Suwaidi, Hanan
Nizam, Mohammed Zayan
Warrier, Sreelekshmi Kaladhara
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Background: Conversational agents have the ability to reach people through multiple mediums, including the online space, mobile phones, and hardware devices like Alexa and Google Home. Conversational agents provide an engaging method of interaction while making information easier to access. Their emergence into areas related to public health and health education is perhaps unsurprising. While the building of conversational agents is getting more simplified with time, there are still requirements of time and effort. There is also a lack of clarity and consistent terminology regarding what constitutes a conversational agent, how these agents are developed, and the kinds of resources that are needed to develop and sustain them. This lack of clarity creates a daunting task for those seeking to build conversational agents for health education initiatives. Objective: This scoping review aims to identify literature that reports on the design and implementation of conversational agents to promote and educate the public on matters related to health. We will categorize conversational agents in health education in alignment with current classifications and terminology emerging from the marketplace. We will clearly define the variety levels of conversational agents, categorize currently existing agents within these levels, and describe the development models, tools, and resources being used to build conversational agents for health care education purposes. Methods: This scoping review will be conducted by employing the Arksey and O’Malley framework. We will also be adhering to the enhancements and updates proposed by Levac et al and Peters et al. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for scoping reviews will guide the reporting of this scoping review. A systematic search for published and grey literature will be undertaken from the following databases: (1) PubMed, (2) PsychINFO, (3) Embase, (4) Web of Science, (5) SCOPUS, (6) CINAHL, (7) ERIC, (8) MEDLINE, and (9) Google Scholar. Data charting will be done using a structured format. Results: Initial searches of the databases retrieved 1305 results. The results will be presented in the final scoping review in a narrative and illustrative manner. Conclusions: This scoping review will report on conversational agents being used in health education today, and will include categorization of the levels of the agents and report on the kinds of tools, resources, and design and development methods used.