A prospective analysis of implementation of multi-disciplinary team decisions in breast cancer

Breast J. 2012 Sep;18(5):459-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2012.01270.x. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


Multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) management of patients with cancer is mandatory in the United Kingdom, and auditing team decision-making by examining rates of decision implementation and reasons for nonimplementation may inform this practice. Consecutive breast cancer MDT decisions, subsequent decision implementation, and reasons for nonimplementation were prospectively recorded. Factors associated with nonimplementation of the MDT decision were analyzed with logistic regression. Of 289 consecutive MDT decisions involving 210 women, 20 (6.9%, 95% CIs 4.3%-10.5%) were not implemented. Most changed MDT decisions did so because of patient preferences (n = 13, 65%), with the discovery of new clinical information (n = 3) and individual doctor's views (n = 4) also leading to decision nonimplementation. MDT decisions were significantly less likely to be adhered to in patients with confirmed malignant disease compared to those with benign or 'unknown' disease categories (p < 0.001) and MDT decisions in older patients were significantly more likely not to be implemented than in younger patients (p = 0.002). Auditing nonimplementation of MDT recommendations and examining reasons for changed decisions is a useful process to monitor team performance and to identify factors that need more attention during the MDT meeting to ensure that the process makes optimal patient centered decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • United Kingdom