The doctoral studies on compassion

Working Title: Madness in the music – Trinidad Carnival – A Cultural Conduit for channelling positive mental well-being and compassion.

Student: Laura Foley

Supervisors: Professor Irena Papadopoulos and Dr Linda Bell

This thesis is multi-method ethnographic study on the annual Trinidad (Trini) Carnival. It explores the many participatory features of Trinidadian character observed during the Carnival season. Elements, such as meaning, music, lyrics, dance, costume attitude, behaviour and performance will be analysed in an attempt to discover how these metaphorical and emotionally charged lyrics, rhythms, related performance behaviour and images tackle mental health issues and address mental health as seen through the Carnival music and performance.

Working Title: Exploring the Hospital Experiences of Older Patients of Black Caribbean Ethnicity (intercultural communication and culturally competent compassion)

Student:          Nichole McIntosh

Supervisors: Professor Irena Papadopoulos and Professor Sue Dyson

Commenced: March 2015

Provisional abstract for Doctoral Study

There is a significant need to engage with patients of Black Caribbean ethnicity in order to ensure that they have opportunities to share their experiences of acute hospital care and that these are systematically captured and acted upon.

The main aim of the study is to explore whether the needs of this group of patients are effectively communicated and understood, by exploring the various aspects of intercultural communication with the care providers and the patients. The study will also examine whether these needs are responded to with appropriate compassion (culturally competent compassion (Papadopoulos 2011) ).

This research will use ethnography to capture and analyse the views and experiences of the target group who have previously been hard to engage. Participant observations of the interactions between patients and staff will be undertaken followed by in-depth interviews with patients in order to listen to the stories of these patients and hear their experiences of hospital care.

Another aim is to assess the staff’s cultural competence. This will be done through the administration of the Papadopoulos and Lees (2001) Cultural Competence Assessment Tool (CCATool), following which an educational intervention will be proposed.

This research will add to the existing body of knowledge nationally and internationally in the area of intercultural communication and culturally competent compassion in acute healthcare. Locally, the findings of the study would feed into service development within the east end of London in the acute hospital setting.