Despina completed her first degree in nursing in Athens, Greece and was awarded an MSc in advanced nursing with a focus on cancer and palliative care from the University of Edinburgh. Following her undergraduate degree, Despina worked in several clinical settings in Athens before she moved to the UK.
She recently completed her PhD at King's College London, looking at the dying processes and patient and family experience over the last months of life of patients with advanced cancer in Greece. The findings of this ethnographic study offer new insights into the longitudinal experience of dying, the family systems in caregiving and decision-making and introduce a new framework on patient orientation over time. The study findings, also, improve our understanding of the experiences and preferences of people dying from cancer in Greek hospitals, as it is the first study of its kind to be undertaken in Greece. Despina is currently involved with the work undertaken in Greece to translate and validate the I-POS tool for the Greek patients with the aim to introduce it as routine outcome measure in the existing palliative care services in Greece.
Despina's ambition is to further help advance the care of patients with a life threatening illness and help with the establishment of palliative care services in Greece. She is involved in the development of the Greek palliative care policy and a home palliative care team in Greece.
Despina held a scholarship from the State Scholarship from the Foundation of Greece and an award by the Schilizzi Foundation.