• The CARESSES study protocol: testing and evaluating culturally competent socially assistive robots among older adults residing in long term care homes through a controlled experimental trial

      Papadopoulos, Chris; Hill, Tetiana; Battistuzzi, Linda; Castro, Nina; Nigath, Abiha; Randhawa, Gurch; Merton, Len; Kanoria, Sanjeev; Kamide, Hiroko; Chong, Nak Young; et al. (BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-03-20)
      This article describes the design of an intervention study that focuses on whether and to what degree culturally competent social robots can improve health and well-being related outcomes among older adults residing long-term care homes. The trial forms the final stage of the international, multidisciplinary CARESSES project aimed at designing, developing and evaluating culturally competent robots that can assist older people according to the culture of the individual they are supporting. The importance of cultural competence has been demonstrated in previous nursing literature to be key towards improving health outcomes among patients. = 15 each). Participants were allocated to either the experimental group, control group 1 or control group 2 (all n = 15). Those allocated to the experimental group or control group 1 received a Pepper robot programmed with the CARESSES culturally competent artificial intelligence (experimental group) or a limited version of this software (control group 1) for 18 h across 2 weeks. Participants in control group 2 did not receive a robot and continued to receive care as usual. Participants could also nominate their informal carer(s) to participate. Quantitative data collection occurred at baseline, after 1 week of use, and after 2 weeks of use with the latter time-point also including qualitative semi-structured interviews that explored their experience and perceptions further. Quantitative outcomes of interest included perceptions of robotic cultural competence, health-related quality of life, loneliness, user satisfaction, attitudes towards robots and caregiver burden. This trial adds to the current preliminary and limited pool of evidence regarding the benefits of socially assistive robots for older adults which to date indicates considerable potential for improving outcomes. It is the first to assess whether and to what extent cultural competence carries importance in generating improvements to well-being.