Dialogue Technique

Dialogue Technique

Dialogue Technique values the art of patient/public partners coming together to listen to one another and challenge one another to look beyond one's own perspective on a health issue or research decision. Patient/public partners are brought together to explore diverse perspectives in a safe environment that creates spaces for learning, shared meaning and aligned actions around research decisions that matter most to people with lived experience of a health issue.


Dialogue Technique uses five basic principles:

  1. Pay attention to your own personal intentions with regard to the research decision being discussed.
  2. Balance the need for advocacy with a desire for inquiry when it comes to the research decision being discussed.
  3. Build shared meaning with one another around the research decision being made as a group.
  4. Use self-awareness (i.e. understanding how the social locations in which you inhabit work within larger systems of power and oppression that affect people's health and access to healthcare services) to help in making research decisions.
  5. Explore impasses - see disagreement and conflict as an opportunity to learn and grow, as well as resist and renegotiate power within the group.


Dialogue Technique can be useful for:

  • Making research decisions among diverse patient/public partners in order to build a shared meaning and understanding around a research project.
  • Exploring patient/public partners' thoughts and feelings around a complex research decision that has no clear answer.
  • Establishing safe spaces where disagreement around a research decision can be addressed and embraced.

 Additional Resources:

1. Participatory Methods: Dialogue

2. Dialogue in Participatory Design

3. International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)