HOPEnDialogue:  An International collaborative multicentre research to support the Open Dialogue Learning Community and evaluate the effectiveness of Open Dialogue in various mental health care contexts around the world

The Open Dialogue approach is one of the most innovative therapeutic interventions in mental health care in recent decades. It is based on the careful listening and respect for each voice in the team of professionals, family members, friends and the person at the center of concern, as well as on transparent and shared decision-making processes. Moreover, mental health services are entirely restructured to privilege prompt community treatment over hospitalization.

The Open Dialogue approach is the result of an integrated relationship between clinical practice and research, which allowed for the systematic documentation of remarkable outcomes in Western Lapland (Finland), where it was developed. Due to these promising outcomes, Open Dialogue is currently trained, tested, and implemented in mental health services across the globe. The lack of consistency in outcome measures and implementation strategies have hitherto prevented sound conclusions on Open Dialogue’s transferability and efficacy in different contexts.

This year (2019), the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care has funded the HOPEnDialogue research project. Purpose of HOPEnDialoge is to promote and assess the fidelity of Open Dialogue practice and evaluate its effectiveness internationally. HOPEnDialogue, coordinated by the Italian National Research Council, is inspired by- and linked to the ODDESSI-study, the first randomized trial of Open Dialogue, ongoing in the UK. An International Advisory Board involving different stakeholders such as researchers, peer supporters, family members, trainers, Open Dialogue professionals, and experts in public health from eight different Countries will contribute to the development of the project and promote its sustainability.

During the first two years of the project, researchers will describe and map the Open Dialogue centers across the world, assess their ability to participate in the study, define a research protocol, select the centers more adherent to Open Dialogue principles for a longitudinal study and promote research among the Open Dialogue Learning Community. Following the dialogic principles of inclusion and openness, all the centers adopting Open Dialogue and researchers interested in this approach are invited to collaborate to the project- promoting Open Dialogue research can only be a common purpose.

Project Funding: 
Project Timeframe: 
29 May 2019




Jaakko Seikkula, Professor of psychotherapy; University of Jyväskylä; Finland.

Steve Pilling, Professor of Clinical Psychology & Clinical Effectiveness- UCL; UK.

Advisory Board Members:

Volkmar Aderhold, Consultant and Trainer for Treatment for psychosis, Institute for Social Psychiatry, University of Greifswald; Germany.

Tomi Bergström, Clinical psychologist and researcher, University of Jyväskylä; Finland

Anna Gastaldi, Open Dialogue Peer Supporter,  Associazione di Promozione Sociale Noi per Voi

Chris Gordon, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Medical Director of Advocates, Inc; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; USA.

Vegard Høgli, District medical officer; Norway.

Mark Hopfenbeck, Assistant professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

Gina Nikkel, President and CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care; Wilsonville, OR; USA.

Mary Olson, Founding Director of the Institute for Dialogic Practice in New York, NY and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, Yale University; USA

Russell Razzaque, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Research - North East London NHS Foundation Trust; UK.

Tomasz Rowinski, Professor at the Institute of Psychology; Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw; Poland.

Alita Taylor, Psychotherapist, Open Dialogue Washington; USA

Sebastian von Peter, Senior Psychiatrist and Professor for psychiatric Health Service Research, Medical University Brandenburg; Germany.

Doug Ziedonis, Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego; USA.

Andrea Zwicknagl, Peer Support Specialist; Switzerland.