TOWARDS AN ARTIFICIAL THERAPY ASSISTANT - Measuring Excessive Stress from Speech

Frans van der Sluis, Egon L. van den Broek, Ton Dijkstra


The measurement of (excessive) stress is still a challenging endeavor. Most tools rely on either introspection or expert opinion and are, therefore, often less reliable or a burden on the patient. An objective method could relieve these problems and, consequently, assist diagnostics. Speech was considered an excellent candidate for an objective, unobtrusive measure of emotion. True stress was successfully induced, using two storytelling sessions performed by 25 patients suffering from a stress disorder. When reading either a happy or a sad story, different stress levels were reported using the Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD). A linear regression model consisting of the high-frequency energy, pitch, and zero crossings of the speech signal was able to explain 70% of the variance in the subjectively reported stress. The results demonstrate the feasibility of an objective measurement of stress in speech. As such, the foundation for an Artificial Therapeutic Agent is laid, capable of assisting therapists through an objective measurement of experienced stress.


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Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

van der Sluis F., L. van den Broek E. and Dijkstra T. (2011). TOWARDS AN ARTIFICIAL THERAPY ASSISTANT - Measuring Excessive Stress from Speech . In Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011) ISBN 978-989-8425-34-8, pages 357-363. DOI: 10.5220/0003175203570363

in Bibtex Style

author={Frans van der Sluis and Egon L. van den Broek and Ton Dijkstra},
title={TOWARDS AN ARTIFICIAL THERAPY ASSISTANT - Measuring Excessive Stress from Speech},
booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011)
TI - TOWARDS AN ARTIFICIAL THERAPY ASSISTANT - Measuring Excessive Stress from Speech
SN - 978-989-8425-34-8
AU - van der Sluis F.
AU - L. van den Broek E.
AU - Dijkstra T.
PY - 2011
SP - 357
EP - 363
DO - 10.5220/0003175203570363