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Research & theory

Types of treatment collaboration between conventional and alternative practitioners – results from a research project at a Danish MS hospital

Authors:

Lasse Skovgaard ,

DK
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Niels Haahr,

Liv Bjerre,

Laila Launsø

Abstract

Introduction: More than 50% of the People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) in Denmark use alternative treatment. Most of them combine alternative and conventional treatment, but PwMS often find that there is no dialogue, coordination or synergy between the parallel courses of treatment offered. For this reason the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society conducted a research project to develop and examine different models for collaboration between conventional and alternative treatment providers.
Materials and methods: Empirical material consist of individual interviews with practitioners, a group interview with practitioners, a group interview with professional staff at the Danish MS hospital that provided the organisational framework for the project, interviews with patients as well as written responses from participating treatment providers in connection with practitioner-researcher seminars held.
Results: Collaboration between researchers and the treatment team resulted in the development examination of several models which describe the strengths and weaknesses of various types of collaboration. The models also show that the various types of collaboration place different requirements on the degree of 1) mutual acknowledgement and understanding among practitioners, 2) flexibility and resources in the organizational framework, and 3) patients' activities and own efforts, respectively.   
Perspectives: The relationship between integration and pluralism can contribute to a fruitful discussion in regards to the value of treatment collaboration. In addition to the many positive perspectives the characterise integration of different treatment modalities the project points to the importance of not overlooking the opportunities, values and potential inherent in a pluralistic ideal in the form of patients' own active efforts and the dynamism that can arise when the patient becomes a co-informant, co-coordinator and/or co-integrator. 

How to Cite: Skovgaard L, Haahr N, Bjerre L, Launsø L. Types of treatment collaboration between conventional and alternative practitioners – results from a research project at a Danish MS hospital. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2010;10(4):None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.540
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Published on 23 Dec 2010.
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