LinkVis: A Novel Tool for Visualizing and Analyzing Psychotherapeutic Processes

Title{LinkVis: A Novel Tool for Visualizing and Analyzing Psychotherapeutic Processes}
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsOhmann, S., C. Popow, B. Schuch, H. Herzog, A. Karwautz, S. Miksch, and M. Lanzenberger
JournalOEGAI Journal
Type of ArticleRefereed Journal Articles
Keywordsadolescent, anorexia-nervosa, information-visualization, multidimensional time-dependent data, psychotherapy

Objective: Evaluating and comparing psychotherapeutic processes is a complex task involving multidimensional, dynamic, and time-dependent data that cannot be analyzed by conventional descriptive and statistical methods. We therefore developed LinkVis, an innovative method for visualizing and exploring highly structured data and for testing newly formulated hypotheses. The aim of our study was to explore LinkVis abilities for analyzing the data set of an ongoing clinical study. Methods: We analyzed the data collected during the accompanying evaluation of a cognitive behavioral group therapy in adolescent girls with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The course of psychotherapy was followed for one year using the data of various psychological tests deployed before, during, and after therapy. Results: LinkVis and its presently available three visualisation techniques, Chernoff faces, scatter plots and parallel co-ordinates, effectively illustrated the therapeutic course, enabled us to compare attained goals and individual courses, and helped us to find out predictors of therapeutic success or failure. Conclusion: LinkVis enables a better understanding of complex psychotherapeutic processes.