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Dettaglio pubblicazione

2022, FRONTIERS IN ROBOTICS AND AI, Pages 895039- (volume: 9)

Therapeutic educational robot enhancing social interactions in the management of obesity (01a Articolo in rivista)

Prosperi E., Guidi G., Napoli C., Gnessi L., Iocchi L.

Obesity is a chronic multifactorial pathology determined by many factors, including incorrect eating habits and a low level of physical activity. There is an urgent need to promote a persistent change in lifestyle in obese subjects, but very few individuals maintain long-term results achieved after diet therapies. Therapeutic Education (TE) has taken over an important role as a multidisciplinary intervention aimed at improving lifestyle and at acquiring new skills for the management of the disease. However, only a small portion of patients can maintain participation in such programs and fully benefit from them. Assistive technologies, and in particular assistive social robots, are powerful tools to boost independence and improve participation in educational activities. The aim of the research work described in this article is to evaluate the effect of employing a social robot as a therapeutic educational robot helping the expert therapist in the education activity. This article describes the implementation, deployment, and evaluation of a social educational robot used as a TE assistant. Although we cannot provide statistically significant results due to the limited number of people involved in the experimental protocol, all experimental results show a positive trend, indicating that the robot can enhance the social interactions between the patients and the therapist and among the patients, thus bringing to better overall results of the TE sessions, measured with standard tests for obesity management.
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