Department of Political Science

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

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Lasse Skovgaard, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Soc
  • ,
  • Niels Haahr, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Soc
  • ,
  • Liv Bjerre
  • Laila Launso, Univ Tromso, UiT The Arctic University of Tromso, Natl Res Ctr Complementary & Alternat Med NAFKAM

Introduction: More than 50% of People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) in Denmark use alternative treatment. Most of them combine alternative and conventional treatment, but PwMS often find that they engage in parallel courses of treatment between which there is no dialogue, coordination or synergy. 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.

Methods: The empirical material consisted of 10 individual interviews with practitioners, a group interview with practitioners, a group interview with professional staff at the Danish Multiple Sclerosis hospital that provided the organisational framework for the project, interviews with 59 patients and written responses from participating treatment providers in connection with 29 practitioner-researcher seminars held during the period 2004-2010.

Results: Collaboration between researchers and the treatment team resulted in the development and examination of several models which describe the strengths and weaknesses of various types of collaboration. The models show that the various types of collaboration place different requirements on the degree of 1) mutual acknowledgement and understanding among practitioners and 2) flexibility and resources in the organizational framework. The analyses also point to the fact that the degree of patient activity must be considered in relation to a given type of collaboration.

Discussion: 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 that 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • health policy, health planning, patient care management, primary health care, patient centred care, individual care plan, CAM, integrative medicine, INTEGRATIVE HEALTH-CARE, MEDICINE, COMPLEMENTARY, MODEL, PEOPLE

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