From Stress Awareness to Coping Strategies of Medical Staff: Supporting Reflection on Physiological Data

, , , and . Second International Workshop on Human Behavior Understanding (HBU 2011), volume 7065 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, page 93-103. Springer, (2011)


Nurses and physicians on a stroke unit constantly face pressure and emotional stress. Physiological sensors can create awareness of one’s own stress and persuade medical staff to reflect on their own behavior and coping strategies. In this study, eight nurses and physicians of a stroke unit were equipped with a wearable ECG and acceleration sensor during their everyday work in order to (a) make them aware of stress and (b) support the re-calling of experiences to identify stressors. In an interview one week later, the participants were asked to recollect stress related events through the examination of the sensor data. Although high activity levels diminished the expressiveness of the data, physicians and nurses could recall stressful events and were interested in their physiological signals. However, existing coping strategies turned out as barriers to the adoption of new tools. Future persuasive applications should focus on integration with existing coping strategies to scaffold the reflection process.

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