Does multidisciplinary care enhance the management of advanced breast cancer? Evaluation of advanced breast cancer multidisciplinary team meetings

Jacquie Chirgwin, Melinda J Craike, Christine Gray, Kathy Watty, Linda Mileshkin, Patricia M. Livingston

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the contribution of the advanced breast cancer (ABC) multidisciplinary team meetings (MDMs) to patient care and clinical outcomes. Methods: Members of ABC MDMs at two health services completed questionnaires in November 2007. The questionnaire asked about the performance of the MDMs and their contribution to improvement in patient care in five domains: medical management, psychosocial care, palliative care, care in the community, and benefits for team members. A final section covered the perceived value and importance of the MDM in patient management. Descriptive statistics (frequencies, mean, and standard deviation) were used to summarize the performance, improvement, and importance scores. Results: A total of 27 multidisciplinary team members (73%) completed the questionnaire. The MDM performed best in medical management (mean performance score out of 5 [M] = 3.78) and palliative care (M = 3.77). These were also the areas that were most improved through the MDM. Benefits to team members and care in the community (both M = 3.05) ranked lowest by both measures. The MDM provided the most benefit for patient management in the areas of "awareness of services available" (M = 4.32), "efficiency of referrals" (M = 4.27) and "supportive care for patients" (M = 4.27). "Awareness of services available," "psychological care for patients," and "continuity of care" were considered the most important (M = 4.64). Conclusion: The study provides evidence that MDMs make an important contribution to the logistical and medical management of patients with advanced breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalJCO Oncology Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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