Publication
AMIA Annual Symposium
Paper

A First Step Towards Behavioral Coaching for Managing Stress: A Case Study on Optimal Policy Estimation with Multi-stage Threshold Q-learning

Abstract

Psychological stress is a major contributor to the adoption of unhealthy behaviors, which in turn accounts for 41% of global cardiovascular disease burden. While the proliferation of mobile health apps has offered promise to stress management, these apps do not provide micro-level feedback with regard to how to adjust one's behaviors to achieve a desired health outcome. In this paper, we formulate the task of multi-stage stress management as a sequential decision-making problem and explore the application of reinforcement learning to provide micro-level feedback for stress reduction. Specifically, we incorporate a multi-stage threshold selection into Q-learning to derive an interpretable form of a recommendation policy for behavioral coaching. We apply this method on an observational dataset that contains Fitbit ActiGraph measurements and self-reported stress levels. The estimated policy is then used to understand how exercise patterns may affect users' psychological stress levels and to perform coaching more effectively.

Date

01 Jan 2017

Publication

AMIA Annual Symposium

Authors

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