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K8 Dr Irena Papadopoulos

K8 Dr Irena Papadopoulos

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Loneliness, mental health, virtual caring, and transcultural robotic nursing

Dr Irena Papadopoulos

Saturday, October 24th 2020  |  12 noon EST


My presentation will focus on the loneliness caused by mental health challenges, and the mental health challenges which are caused by loneliness. I will propose that technological solutions such as artificially intelligent devices and socially assistive humanoid robots may help to alleviate loneliness and improve our mental health and well-being.

I will briefly discuss the results of my latest collaborative research project called CARESSES which produced the first ever culturally competent, artificially intelligent, autonomous robot. The COVID-19 pandemic posed huge problems for the health and social care services, the providers of care services, the patients and their families. The time for mental health professionals to engage with technology can no longer be postponed. Let’s start the conversation.


Dr Irena Papadopoulos
PhD, MA(Ed), BA, RN, RM, NDN, DipN, DipNE

Irena Papadopoulos is the Professor of Transcultural Health and Nursing, and the Founder and Head of the Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health at Middlesex University, London.

She has been researching issues related to transcultural health and cultural competence for over 25 years. She is the originator of the work that led to the development of the Papadopoulos, Tilki and Taylor (1998) model of transcultural nursing and cultural competence.

Since 2010 she has been researching compassion. She has coined the concept ‘culturally competent compassion’, as well as ‘culturally competent and compassionate[CCC] leadership’.

In 2018 she published her book ‘Culturally Competent Compassion: A guide for healthcare students and practitioners’ which includes chapters on CCC leadership, CCC learning and practising, researching CC compassion, measuring CC compassion, etc.

She is the founder of the IENE programme (Intercultural Education of Nurses in Europe, 2008 onwards), the originator and co-ordinator of its first six projects and the originator of the 7th and 8th projects and co-originator of the 9th project. All projects have been funded by the European Commission.

During 2017 -2020 she worked on the project CARESSES (funded by HORIZON2020 and the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication) and developed the first ever guidelines for the production of the first culturally competent AI socially assistive robot for health and social care. She has coined the terms Transcultural Nursing Robotics and Transcultural Health and Social Care Robotics, which she hopes that they will, in the future, develop into unique disciplines.