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January 21, 2020 by Vasudha Gidugu, PhD et al | Psychological Services

Client, family, and clinician experiences of Open Dialogue-based services

Vasudha Gidugu, PhD, Corresponding author; E. Sally Rogers, ScD; Christopher Gordon, MD; A. Rani Elwy, PhD; Mari-Lynn Drainoni, PhD


The last two decades have seen tremendous growth in programs to address first-episode psychosis, which typically affects adolescents and young adults. Open Dialogue is a program that has shown promise in first-episode psychosis treatment in Finland and is gaining popularity internationally. Implementation of this model in cultural and healthcare contexts that differ from Finland has not been studied. We conducted a qualitative study as part of the first pilot study of Open Dialogue in the United States to understand factors critical for implementation of the model. We interviewed six clients, ten family members, and nine clinicians. They identified several unique and beneficial features of the approach, focusing particularly on the value of family involvement, transparency, respectfulness, and the collaborative nature of Open Dialogue.

Contextual factors, particularly regarding funding for this model in the current United States healthcare environment, are key determinants to address for future implementation of Open Dialogue in the U.S.

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