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Scoping clinicians’ perspectives on pre-treatment multidisciplinary care for young women with breast cancer

Authors Corter AL, Quan ML, Wright FL, Kennedy ED, Simunovic MRI, Shao J, Baxter NN

Received 11 May 2018

Accepted for publication 21 June 2018

Published 9 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 547—555


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Arden L Corter,1 May Lynn Quan,2 Frances L Wright,3 Erin D Kennedy,4 Marko RI Simunovic,5 Juliet Shao,1 Nancy N Baxter1,6

1Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada; 2Department of Surgery and Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada; 3Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; 4Division of General Surgery, University Health Network, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada; 5Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; 6Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Background: Young women with breast cancer (YWBC) experience worse medical and psychosocial outcomes than their older counterparts. Early input from a multidisciplinary team via pre-treatment multidisciplinary cancer conferences (pMCCs) may be important for addressing the complex needs of YWBC. However, pMCCs are not common. This study has two parts: a survey and workshop aimed at assessing clinicians’ perspectives on pMCCs, including the importance of pMCCs in the care of YWBC, as well as barriers to, and strategies for supporting their implementation.
Methods: Survey results highlight variability across sites in the delivery of multidisciplinary care in general. However, both survey and workshop results emphasize clinicians’ agreement on the importance of pMCCs and suggest that numerous practical and systems levels barriers be addressed before pMCCs can be implemented.
Conclusions: pMCCs have the potential to improve surgical treatment and psychosocial outcomes for YWBC. A combined practical and policy approach to their implementation, which sees extension of existing standards to include pMCCs, may support their adoption and subsequent audit practices to assess the effect of pMCCs on outcomes for YWBC.

Keywords: multidisciplinary care, pre-treatment, cancer conference, breast cancer, young women

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