Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science

First Advisor

Sanchari Das

Second Advisor

Maria M. Calbi

Third Advisor

Matthew Rutherford


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 Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Aishwarya Surani


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


310 pgs

File Size

2.1 MB


Computer science

Available for download on Saturday, December 13, 2025