A Test Platform for Managing School Stress Using a Virtual Reality Group Chatbot Counseling System

Aislyn P. C. Lin, Charles V. Trappey, Chi-Cheng Luan, Amy J. C. Trappey, Kevin L. K. Tu
2021 Applied Sciences  
Student life causes many sources of stress due to the requirements of managing schoolwork, family, friends, health and wellbeing, and future career planning. Some students are overwhelmed and lack resilience to overcome stress, especially if they are inexperienced in managing setbacks, fail to achieve expectations, or lack skills to independently manage social skills, recreation, and study time. The long-term accumulation of stress has a negative impact on students' physical and mental health,
more » ... nd may lead to a range of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, headache, insomnia, and eating disorders. Although most universities provide psychological counseling services, there is often a shortage of professional psychologists, which leads to students suffering from stress for longer than necessary without immediate assistance. The build-up of stress can lead to tragic consequences including abnormal reasoning, anti-social behavior, and suicide. There should never be a need for a student to wait more than a month to make an appointment for counseling services and every request for help should be immediately addressed and assessed. In this research, we designed a unique test platform for an immersive virtual reality group chatbot counseling system so students can receive psychological help and stress management counseling anytime and anywhere. First, the research used questionnaires to measure the stress levels and identifies how stress affects their lives. An immersive virtual reality chatbot was developed using professional psychological counseling knowledge that can provide answers during individual or group counseling sessions. Students can log in to the platform as avatars and ask the chatbot questions or interact with other students on the platform. This research provides college students with a new technology-based counseling environment designed to help relieve stress and learn new ways to improve student life quality from others. The platform provides a test base for future clinical trials to evaluate and improve the automated virtual reality chatbot counseling system.
doi:10.3390/app11199071 fatcat:234nnnujxjg27h6vqf3huaccju