Multidisciplinary team working across different tumour types: analysis of a national survey

Ann Oncol. 2012 May;23(5):1293-1300. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr453. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


Background: Using data from a national survey, this study aimed to address whether the current model for multidisciplinary team (MDT) working is appropriate for all tumour types.

Patients and methods: Responses to the 2009 National Cancer Action Team national survey were analysed by tumour type. Differences indicate lack of consensus between MDT members in different tumour types.

Results: One thousand one hundred and forty-one respondents from breast, gynaecological, colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, urological, head and neck, haematological and lung MDTs were included. One hundred and sixteen of 136 statements demonstrated consensus between respondents in different tumour types. There were no differences regarding the infrastructure for meetings and team governance. Significant consensus was seen for team characteristics, and respondents disagreed regarding certain aspects of meeting organisations and logistics, and patient-centred decision making. Haematology MDT members were outliers in relation to the clinical decision-making process, and lung MDT members disagreed with other tumour types regarding treating patients with advanced disease.

Conclusions: This analysis reveals strong consensus between MDT members from different tumour types, while also identifying areas that require a more tailored approach, such as the clinical decision-making process, and preparation for and the organisation of MDT meetings. Policymakers should remain sensitive to the needs of health care teams working in individual tumour types.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case Management / organization & administration
  • Case Management / standards
  • Case Management / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Medical Oncology* / organization & administration
  • Medical Oncology* / statistics & numerical data
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce