Exploring non-physician care professionals' roles in cancer multidisciplinary team meetings: A qualitative study.

Melissa Horlait, Melissa De Regge, Saskia Baes, Kristof Eekloo, Mark Leys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The growing complexity of cancer care necessitates collaboration among different professionals. This interprofessional collaboration improves cancer care delivery and outcomes. Treatment decision-making within the context of a multidisciplinaire team meeting (MDTMs) may be seen as a particular form of interprofessional collaboration. Various studies on cancer MDTMs highlight a pattern of suboptimal information sharing between attendants. To overcome the lack of non-medical, patient-based information, it might be recommended that non-physician care professionals play a key patient advocacy role within cancer MDTMs. This study aims to explore non-physician care professionals' current and aspired role within cancer MDTMs. Additionally, the perceived hindering factors for these non-physician care professionals to fulfil their specific role are identified. The analysis focuses on nurses, specialist nurses, head nurses, psychologists, social workers, a head of social workers and data managers. The results show that non-physician care professionals play a limited role during case discussions in MDTMs. Neither do they actively participate in the decision-making process. Barriers perceived by non-physician care professionals are classified on two main levels: 1) team-related barriers (factors internally related to the team) and 2) external barriers (factors related to healthcare management and policy). A group of non-physician care professionals also belief that their information does not add value in the decision-making proces and as such, they underestimate their own role in MDTMs. To conclude, a change of culture is needed towards an interdisciplinary collaboration in which knowledge and expertise of different professions are equally assimilated into an integrated perspective to guarantee a true patient-centred approach for cancer MDTMs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0263611
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2022

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