The effect of multidisciplinary team care on cancer management

Pan Afr Med J. 2011:9:20. doi: 10.4314/pamj.v9i1.71195. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Over the past 15 years, the multidisciplinary team management of many medical conditions especially cancers has increasingly taken a prominent role in patient management in many hospitals and medical centres in the developed countries. In the United Kingdom, it began to gain prominence following the Calman-Heine report in 1995 which suggested that each Cancer Unit in a hospital should have in place arrangements for non-surgical oncological input into services, with a role for a non-surgical oncologist. The report further suggested that a lead clinician with a well established interest in cancer care should be appointed to organise and coordinate the whole range of cancer services provided within the Cancer Unit. Many people have argued that the multidisciplinary team management of patients has resulted in better care and improved survival. However, there are barriers to the optimal effectiveness of the multidisciplinary team. This paper aims to review various studies on the effectiveness of the multidisciplinary team in the management of cancer patients and also discuss some of the barriers to the multidisciplinary team.

Keywords: MDT; Multidisciplinary; cancer; effectiveness; malignancy; team.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cohort Studies
  • Communication Barriers
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Neoplasms / nursing
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Palliative Care
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design
  • Terminal Care