Teamwork and team decision-making at multidisciplinary cancer conferences: barriers, facilitators, and opportunities for improvement

World J Surg. 2011 Sep;35(9):1970-6. doi: 10.1007/s00268-011-1152-1.


Background: Anecdotally, multidisciplinary cancer conferences (MCCs) do not always function optimally. MCC members' experiences with and attitudes toward MCCs are explored, and barriers to and facilitators of effective team-working are identified.

Methods: A total of 19 semistructured interviews were conducted with surgeons, oncologists, nurses, and administrators. Interviews explored participants' opinions on MCC attendance, information presentation, case discussion, leadership, team decision-making, and possible improvements to MCC meetings.

Results: Nonattendance was associated with not having protected time to attend the MCC. Contributions to MCC discussions were unequal among the participants, and patient-centered information was ignored. Good leadership was necessary to foster inclusive case discussion. Members were positive about MCCs, but protected time, improved case selection, and working in a more structured way were possible improvements.

Conclusions: Results are consistent with previous research: Members of the MCC are positive about the benefits of MCCs, although improving the way MCCs work is a goal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Congresses as Topic*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Improvement
  • United Kingdom