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Physicians’ attitudes and perspectives regarding the uptake of psychosocial aspects and/or patient preferences during multidisciplinary team meetings in oncology

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Introduction: Coordinating cancer care is challenging because of its complexity. To partly encounter this complexity,multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) were implemented to evaluate diagnosis, discuss treatment options and collectively decide upon the most optimal patient care and treatment plan. In cancer trajectories, medical professionals have a coordinating role and final decision responsibility. As a consequence patient-centred non-biomedical information are easily overlooked during discussions in MDTMs. This study aims to uncover physicians’ perceived barriers regarding the uptake of psychosocial aspects and/or patient preferences in the cancer treatment decision-making process during Multidisciplinary Oncology Consultations (MOCs), a specific type of MDTM in Belgium.
Methods: Between March 2019 and May 2019 semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty medical professionals specialized in oncology. Grounded theory principles were used to detect and classify perceived barriers and patterns emerging regarding the uptake of psychosocial information in the cancer treatment decision-making process.
Results: Although physicians showed an open attitude towards taking into account psychosocial aspects and patient preferences in treatment decisions, the majority of respondents is not convinced the MOC is the best place to discuss these aspects. Physicians reported organisational, work process, and health system related barriers.
Discussion: The MOC emerges as a medicalized form of team discussion that, in its current form, does not reach its objective of truly integrated multidisciplinarity as cancer care is demanding. The working practices of the MOC can be optimized to evolve towards a truly interdisciplinary approach.
Journal: International Journal of Care Coordination
ISSN: 2053-4345
Issue: 2-3
Volume: 23
Pages: 107-114
Number of pages: 8
Publication year:2020
Keywords:Multidisciplinary team meeting, oncology, psychosocial aspects, patient preferences, decision-making, interdisciplinary collaboration