Background: The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society has initiated a research project dealing with bridge building and integrative treatment. Little attention has been paid to research on the experience of conventional and alternative practitioners with bridge building and integrative treatment through teamwork. Objective: The objective of this article is to describe essential features of the preparatory phase of the research project focusing on the process of initiating and developing a team of conventional and alternative practitioners before treating people with Multiple Sclerosis at a specialized MS hospital in Denmark. The team consists of five conventional and five alternative practitioners. Materials and Methods: The preparatory phase took place from August 2004 to May 2005. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the ten team practitioners. Each practitioner was interviewed before and eight months after joining the team, and after participating in four practitioner-researcher seminars. Written materials and participatory observations of practitioner-researcher seminars have been used in addition. Results: The team-building process involved motivation, emotions, challenges, professional and personal competences, and the development of a professional team identity. The practitioners assessed the preparatory phase based on researcher-practitioner seminars as an essential basis for moving on to provide treatments to people with MS.
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