A pilot study to evaluate the impact of involving breast cancer patients in the multidisciplinary discussion of their disease and treatment plan

Breast. 2007 Apr;16(2):178-89. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2006.10.002. Epub 2006 Dec 8.


Multidisciplinary care is the accepted best model of management of breast cancer patients. Current evidence suggests that multidisciplinary care has the potential to reduce mortality, improve quality of life, and reduce health care costs. We investigated the impact of patient involvement in the multidisciplinary meeting. A pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility and acceptability of directly involving patients diagnosed with breast cancer in multidisciplinary clinic discussions and treatment planning. 30 consecutive breast cancer patients presenting for surgery were invited to attend our weekly multidisciplinary breast meeting at the time of receiving their results of surgery. Patients completed questionnaires before and after the meeting, and participated in a tape-recorded interview with the breast care nurse after the meeting. Members of the multi-disciplinary team also completed a short survey at the end of the study. The intervention was highly valued by most of the participating patients; and acceptable to and welcomed by most health professionals in the multidisciplinary team. Change in anxiety scores was not affected by participation. Patient attendance at the breast multidisciplinary meeting was shown to be potentially acceptable to both patients and health professionals, without unduly raising patient anxiety. A national survey exploring attitudes towards patient involvement in the multidisciplinary team meeting is currently in progress.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome