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Department of Informatics People and Computing Lab

Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Technology


Recent research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) highlights the critical influence of gender and culture on mental health manifestations, prompting the call for culturally sensitive technology design. This aligns with the growing recognition of the need for culturally informed healthcare practices, especially evident in studies on mental distress across various cultures. For instance, in many Asian countries, mental distress often manifests through somatic symptoms such as stomach pain and muscle tension, contrasting with the psychological expressions typical in Western cultures. While therapists can tailor their approaches to individual needs, technology often employs a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. This oversight of diversity and cultural subtleties can lead to inaccurate diagnoses, unsuitable interventions, and a lack of personalized care.

Our Research

Our work aims to contribute to the awareness and development of culturally appropriate mental health technology. To achieve this goal, we draw upon Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Theory, an established framework to describe the culture of a country based on its cultural values. 

Specifically, we leveraged the framework to explore:

  1. How does culture influence mental health help-seeking behaviour and technology design?
  2. How can we use design cards as translational tools to support researchers and designers to create more culturally sensitive technology?


If you are interested in doing a master thesis, master project, bachelor thesis or independent study related to this topic, please contact mehere after reviewing the application process and requirements here.

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