Latest developments at Open Dialogue Atlanta, a multi-year pilot study

Researchers at Emory Medical School are collaborating to implement Open Dialogue and sustain dialogic practice at Grady Behavioral Health.

Investigators report that “currently, Open Dialogue principles are being used in two main areas: 1) our coordinated specialty care service, Project ARROW (Achieving Recovery through Resilience, Optimism, and Wellness), and 2) our Assertive Community Treatment program.”

In the research on Project ARROW, quantitative and qualitative data will take place over a twelve-month period, with the last assessments from enrolled participants to be collected in September 2022. A third series of qualitative interviews with clinicians will be complete this fall, the last to examine feasibility and acceptability led by Dr. Jen Van Tiem.

Under the direction of Dr. Palanci, the Grady ACT program has begun to implement an Open Dialogue approach to both treatment planning and family engagement, which has been well received by participants and staff.

The team is in the process of submitting a research paper for publication, describing the initial efforts from Open Dialogue Atlanta.

Drs. Palanci and Cotes presented at the 3rd Meeting of the International Open Dialogue Research Collaboration, entitled “Open Dialogue Atlanta: A Clinical and Research Initiative”, in June 2021. Additionally, Project ARROW team members participated in a September 2021 panel for the Tennessee Statewide Early Psychosis Conference, entitled “A Georgia CSC Team’s Secret Sauce for Success – Family Engagement”. Team members shared strategies to engage families through dialogic practice, which was attended virtually by approximately 300 clinicians.

Open Dialogue pilot at Grady Memorial Hospital
The Atlanta pilot project is the second to be rolled out by the original UMass research team led by Drs. Doug Ziedonis (principal investigator) and Mary Olson with grant funding from Open Excellence. Beginning in March 2016, Drs. Robert Cotes and Keith Wood at Emory Medical School have partnered with the UMass team to implement the Open Dialogue approach at Grady Memorial Hospital and recruit and provide clinical care to participating individuals and their families.

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