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Structured patient-clinician communication using DIALOG improves patient quality of life

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Dr Stefan Priebe

Correspondence to: Dr Stefan Priebe, Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Queen Mary, University of London, Newham Centre for Mental Health, London E13 8SP, UK; s.priebe@gmul.ac.uk

QUESTION

Question:

Does the DIALOG computer based dialogue between patient and clinician affect patients’ quality of life, need for care and treatment satisfaction?

Patients:

507 adults (18–65 years) with schizophrenia or related disorders who were part of the caseload of 134 key workers who agreed to participate. Key workers had to have a professional qualification in mental health or a minimum of 1 year’s professional experience in an out-patient setting.

Setting:

Community psychiatric services in urban and mixed urban-rural areas in Spain, The Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland; December 2002 to May 2005.

Intervention:

DIALOG plus usual care or usual care alone. DIALOG was a computer-mediated structured process facilitating clinician–patient communication about patient needs, delivered every 2 months for a year during meetings scheduled as part of usual care. Clinicians using DIALOG assessed patient satisfaction with eight life domains (mental health, physical health, friendships and relationship with partner, personal safety, accommodation, job …

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