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Successful strategies in implementing a multidisciplinary team working in the care of patients with cancer: an overview and synthesis of the available literature

Authors Soukup T, Lamb BW, Arora S, Darzi A, Sevdalis N, Green JSA

Received 11 April 2017

Accepted for publication 3 October 2017

Published 19 January 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 49—61

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S117945

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Tayana Soukup,1 Benjamin W Lamb,2 Sonal Arora,3 Ara Darzi,3 Nick Sevdalis,1 James SA Green4,5

1Health Service and Population Research Department, Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London, London, UK; 2Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 3Department of Surgery and Cancer, Center for Patient Safety and Service Quality, Imperial College London, 4Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, 5Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK

Abstract: In many health care systems globally, cancer care is driven by multidisciplinary cancer teams (MDTs). A large number of studies in the past few years and across different literature have been performed to better understand how these teams work and how they manage patient care. The aim of our literature review is to synthesize current scientific and clinical understanding on cancer MDTs and their organization; this, in turn, should provide an up-to-date summary of the current knowledge that those planning or leading cancer services can use as a guide for service implementation or improvement. We describe the characteristics of an effective MDT and factors that influence how these teams work. A range of factors pertaining to teamwork, availability of patient information, leadership, team and meeting management, and workload can affect how well MDTs are implemented within patient care. We also review how to assess and improve these teams. We present a range of instruments designed to be used with cancer MDTs – including observational tools, self-assessments, and checklists. We conclude with a practical outline of what appears to be the best practices to implement (Dos) and practices to avoid (Don’ts) when setting up MDT-driven cancer care.

Keywords: cancer MDT, MDM, cancer meeting, patients with cancer

Corrigendum for this paper has been published.

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