Date of Award
Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science
Maria M. Calbi
Chatbot, Mental healthcare, Older adults, Privacy, Security
The landscape of mental health support has evolved as a result of the rising demand for digital mental healthcare services. Users now have an opportunity to seek mental health support online due to the growth of digital platforms. For those looking for mental health treatments, chatbots have evolved as user-friendly, accessible platforms that provide remote access and convenience. However, for chatbots to be effective, users must divulge personal and sensitive information, such as demographics, insurance information, and a history of mental illness. While chatbots offer services to a variety of demographic users, older adults face unique challenges related to usability, security, and privacy concerns while using these platforms. This thesis provides a thorough analysis to understand the needs, concerns, and expectations of older adults through prior literature reviews, and qualitative and quantitative user studies.
The culmination of this research is the development of MESA-Bot mobile application, which places a strong emphasis on safeguarding user data and enhancing accessibility and usability. The application caters to the changing needs of older adults who are looking for mental healthcare services. Additionally, this thesis offers specialized security and privacy guidelines intended to create a safe operating environment for chatbots in the mental healthcare sector. This thesis aims to ensure that all older adults, not only have access to digital mental healthcare services but can also use them securely by addressing these important challenges. The effectiveness of the constantly changing landscape of mental health support is considerably increased by the seamless integration of accessibility, usability, and data security.
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.
Received from ProQuest
Surani, Aishwarya, "Designing Secure Mental Healthcare Chatbots for Older Adults" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2362.
Available for download on Saturday, December 13, 2025