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DyMand: Dyadic Management of Diabetes

Dyadic Management of Chronic Diseases

Diabetes mellitus Type II is a common chronic disease. To manage blood glucose levels patients need to follow medical recommendations for healthy eating, physical activity, and medication adherence in their everyday life. Illness management is mainly shared with partners or spouses and may involve social support and common dyadic coping (CDC). Received social support and common dyadic coping have been identified as having implications for people’s health behavior and well-being. Visible received support, however, may also be negatively related to people’s well-being. Thus, the concept of invisible social support was introduced recently: that is, support provided that occurs outside of the awareness of the recipient or that is not encoded as support. So far, however, it is unknown which of these concepts (visible, invisible support, CDC) displays the most beneficial associations with health behavior and well-being when considered together in the context of illness management in couples. Furthermore, measurement of support and CDC in people’s everyday lives is usually by self-report only. Thus, more objective operationalizations of these constructs might solve common problems connected to self-report.

The goals of this project are therefore to systematically investigate the unique contributions of visible and invisible social support and CDC on health behaviors involved in diabetes management (e.g., physical activity, eating, medication adherence) and well-being of diabetes Type II patients and their partners; and to develop an ambulatory assessment application for smartphones for the open source behavioral intervention platform MobileCoach ( that allows (a) to record speech and recognize the affect of speech based on prosodic, spectral and sentiment analyses, (b) to objectively sense the degree of physical activity by smartphone sensors and (c) to collect self-report data in situ in order to better understand the predictors (visible and invisible social support and common dyadic coping).


Boateng, G., Santhanam, P., Lüscher, J., Scholz, U., Kowatsch, T. (2019) DyMand: An Open-Source Mobile and Wearable System for Assessing Couples’ Dyadic Management of Chronic Diseases, 14th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST), June 4-6, Worcester, MA, USA. (forthcoming).

Boateng, G., Santhanam, P., Lüscher, J., Scholz, U., Kowatsch, T. (2018) Multimodal Affect Detection among Couples for Diabetes Management, Poster presented at the Black in AI Workshop at the 32nd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), December 7, 2018, Montreal, Canada. (PDF)

Related Work

Kowatsch, T., Nißen, M.K., Shih, I., Rüegger, D., Volland, D., Filler, A., Künzler, F., Barata, F., Haug, S., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Heldt, K., Gindrat, P., Farpour-Lambert, N., l’Allemand, D. (2017) Text-based Healthcare Chatbots Supporting Patient and Health Professional Teams: Preliminary Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial on Childhood Obesity, Persuasive Embodied Agents for Behavior Change (PEACH 2017) Workshop, co-located with the 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017), Stockholm, Sweden. (PDF)

Kowatsch, T., Volland, D., Shih, I., Rüegger, D., Künzler, F., Barata, F., Filler, A., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Heldt, K., Gindrat, P., Farpour-Lambert, N., l’Allemand, D. (2017) Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Chat App for the Open Source Behavioral Health Intervention Platform MobileCoach, In: Maedche A., vom Brocke J., Hevner A. (eds) Designing the Digital Transformation. DESRIST 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10243. Springer: Berlin; Germany, 485-489. (Paper-PDF | Poster-PDF | Slide-PDF | Screencast)

Filler, A., Kowatsch, T., Haug, S., Wahle, F., Staake, T. & Fleisch, E. (2015) MobileCoach: A Novel Open Source Platform for the Design of Evidence-based, Scalable and Low-Cost Behavioral Health Interventions – Overview and Preliminary Evaluation in the Public Health Context. Wireless Telecommunications Symposium 2015 (WTS 2015), New York, USA. ***Outstanding Paper Award & Best Graduate Student Paper Award*** PDF

CDHI Research Team

George Boateng, Prabhakaran Santhanam, Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch & Prof. Dr. Tobias Kowatsch


CHF 500’000


Mar 2017 – Feb 2020


Dr. Janina Lüscher & Prof. Dr. Urte Scholz (University of Zurich)

University of Zurich
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)