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Thesis offer in Computer Science / Human-Computer Interaction: personalized e-Coaching and physical activities for low back pain patients (M/F)

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UPR3251-JEAMAR7-008
Workplace : ORSAY
Date of publication : Monday, February 24, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Jean-Claude MARTIN
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 April 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Personalized e-Coaching and physical activities for low back pain patients

Today, so-called persuasive or motivational technologies are being developed, which refer to technologies, applications or services designed to induce changes in the attitudes and behaviours of those who use them. This is the subject of research in Human-Computer Interaction in connection with theories from psychology related for example to behavior change or personality. The aim is to model human-machine interactions that must be adapted to the way in which the user is situated in the behaviour change and to his personality. Research on these technologies suggests that in order to encourage long-term adherence, these "virtual coaches" must take into account the user's personality. For example, according to Regulatory Focus Theory (Higgins, 1997), individuals differ in the way they direct their goals and thus their strategies and decision-making. This theory has already been the subject of a thesis and computer modelling at LIMSI in the context of a game (Faur 2016). This theory is also applied to personalized motivation in the field of physical activity with the WEnner framework (Martin & Clavel 2018).

The computer coach will be designed with and for patients with chronic low back pain. It will have to take into account the individual profile of the user at the time of the initial diagnosis but also adapt as the treatment progresses, particularly by taking into account the phases of behavioural change. It must allow for remote and continuous intervention. Other theoretical frameworks will also be considered related, for example, to self-confidence, which is particularly important for these pathologies.


- state of the art of relevant research (affective computing, persuasive technologies, ehealth intervention, mobile human-computer interventions, relevant theories and models in Psychology: behaviour change, inter-individual differences)

- Needs analysis and participation with the project partners in the design of the mobile personalized coach for diabetic patients: specification of the role and functions of the coach

- design and implementation of the coaching application (Android mobile application, database)
- specification of customized multimodal human-machine interactions (text, graphics, audio)
- technical tests and evaluation with patients
- ethics and data protection

Master 2 Computer Science or Human-Computer Interaction


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Work Context

This thesis will take place at LIMSI-CNRS as part of a project funded for the accompaniment of patients suffering from low back pain in collaboration with a Parisian hospital.

The PhD student in computer science will work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team (CPU group and hospital partner).

Constraints and risks

Project meetings in Paris.

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