Experiences of hospital-based multidisciplinary team meetings in oncology: An interview study among participating general practitioners

Eur J Gen Pract. 2017 Dec;23(1):155-163. doi: 10.1080/13814788.2017.1323081.


Background: Cancer care has become complex, requiring healthcare professionals to collaborate to provide high-quality care. Multidisciplinary oncological team (MDT) meetings in the hospital have been implemented to coordinate individual cancer patients' care. General practitioners (GPs) are invited to join, but their participation is minimal.

Objectives: Aim of this study is to explore participating GPs' perceptions of their current role and to understand their preferences towards effective role execution during MDT meetings.

Methods: In May to June 2014, semi-structured interviews (n = 16) were conducted involving GPs with MDT experience in Belgium. The analysis was done according to qualitative content analysis principles.

Results: Attendance of an MDT meeting is perceived as part of the GP's work, especially for complex patient care situations. Interprofessional collaborative relationships and the GP's perceived benefit to the MDT meeting discussions are important motivators to participate. Enhanced continuity of information flow and optimized organizational time management were practical aspects triggering the GP's intention to participate. GPs valued the communication with the patient before and after the meeting as an integral part of the MDT dynamics.

Conclusion: GPs perceive attendance of the MDT meeting as an integral part of their job. Suggestions are made to enhance the efficiency of the meetings.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary communication; general practitioners; medical oncology; patient care team.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication
  • Female
  • General Practice*
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Physician's Role*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Time Management

Grant support

This study is funded by the KCE – study KCE REPORT 239Cs (https://kce.fgov.be/).