NegotiAge: Development and pilot testing of an artificial intelligence-based family caregiver negotiation program

Alaine Murawski, Vanessa Ramirez-Zohfeld, Johnathan Mell, Marianne Tschoe, Allison Schierer, Charles Olvera, Jeanne Brett, Jonathan Gratch, Lee A. Lindquist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease experience conflicts as they navigate health care but lack training to resolve these disputes. We sought to develop and pilot test an artificial-intelligence negotiation training program, NegotiAge, for family caregivers. Methods: We convened negotiation experts, a geriatrician, a social worker, and community-based family caregivers. Content matter experts created short videos to teach negotiation skills. Caregivers generated dialogue surrounding conflicts. Computer scientists utilized the dialogue with the Interactive Arbitration Guide Online (IAGO) platform to develop avatar-based agents (e.g., sibling, older adult, physician) for caregivers to practice negotiating. Pilot testing was conducted with family caregivers to assess usability (USE) and satisfaction (open-ended questions with thematic analysis). Results: Development: With NegotiAge, caregivers progress through didactic material, then receive scenarios to negotiate (e.g., physician recommends gastric tube, sibling disagrees with home support, older adult refusing support). Caregivers negotiate in real-time with avatars who are designed to act like humans, including emotional tactics and irrational behaviors. Caregivers send/receive offers, using tactics until either mutual agreement or time expires. Immediate feedback is generated for the user to improve skills training. Pilot testing: Family caregivers (n = 12) completed the program and survey. USE questionnaire (Likert scale 1–7) subset scores revealed: (1) Useful—Mean 5.69 (SD 0.76); (2) Ease—Mean 5.24 (SD 0.96); (3) Learn—Mean 5.69 (SD 0.74); (4) Satisfy—Mean 5.62 (SD 1.10). Items that received over 80% agreements were: It helps me be more effective; It helps me be more productive; It is useful; It gives me more control over the activities in my life; It makes the things I want to accomplish easier to get done. Participants were highly satisfied and found NegotiAge fun to use (91.7%), with 100% who would recommend it to a friend. Conclusion: NegotiAge is an Artificial-Intelligent Caregiver Negotiation Program, that is usable and feasible for family caregivers to become familiar with negotiating conflicts commonly seen in health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • artificial intelligence
  • education
  • family caregivers
  • negotiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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