UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


The ODDESSI trial

The ODDESSI research

ODDESSI (Open Dialogue: Development and Evaluation of a Social Network Intervention for Severe Mental Illness) is a large-scale programme of research into crisis and continuing mental health care within the NHS. This programme is directed by Professor Steve Pilling (UCL), funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and managed by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). The study will run from 2017-2022 in five NHS Trust research sites: 

ODDESSI Research Sites


    ODDESSI aims to transform the current model of health care for patients with major mental health problems. There are several questions that the research is examining: 

    1. Can we develop a way to offer Open Dialogue in the NHS that is acceptable to staff (including peers) and service-users? Does it fit in with how existing NHS services operate?
    2. Does offering Open Dialogue result in good clinical outcomes, and is it worth the money?
    3. What is the experience of service users, carers, and staff?
    The programme is vast and includes projects that focus on these areas:
    • How NHS mental health services are configured and change
    • Mental health services and referral pathways across study sites
    • Peers and their role within Open Dialogue teams
    • Training people in Open Dialogue
    • Whether it would be possible to compare Open Dialogue to treatment-as-usual in a large multi-centre trial (the feasibility trial)
    • The health economics of Open Dialogue and of treatment-as-usual

    To answer some of these questions, a parallel Process Evaluation is taking place alongside ODDESSI. 

    Preliminary results

    See below a video of Prof. Steve Pilling and Dr Russell Razzaque on the ODDESSI study protocol and some preliminary results. 

    YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJpPlrUGn7o


    The Process Evaluation

    The Process Evaluation looks to broadly understand; what are the crisis and community teams, and Open Dialogue teams doing? By doing this, the process evaluation aims to provide some context to the main trial to help us understand the results and how to move forward after the trial has finished. 

    How is the Process Evaluation being completed? 

    The Process Evaluation will be carried out by looking at data from electronic records systems and by conducting interviews. Service users, members of their social networks, peer practitioners, and clinical staff will be interviewed to understand their personal experiences and identify factors perceived to have either a positive or negative influence on the delivery of services and the outcomes achieved. 

    1. What are crisis teams, community mental health teams, and Open Dialogue teams that are part of the trial doing on a day-to-day basis?
    2. What are their team structures, staffing levels, and staff retention? 
    3. Are people's caseloads comparable? 
    4. How is care being delivered across the teams, and what are the differences and similarities? 
    5. What is it like to deliver all treatments within these teams, and what is it like to be a client of one of these teams? 
    Who is leading the Process Evaluation? 

    The Process Evaluation is led by Prof. Tim Weaver and Claire Melia at Middlesex University, Prof. Jerry Tew and Dr Sarah Carr at the University of Birmingham and Corrine Hendy at the University of Nottingham.