Multidisciplinary Team Meetings (MDTMs) are considered essential for the optimal care of patients with cancer. With increasing numbers and complexity, time is a major limiting factor for most MDTMs. Cancer Research UK (2014) reported that the mean time spent on discussing a patient was only 3.2 minutes, with most spent describing tumour or medical characteristics. Only 14% of discussions explored comorbidities, psychosocial status, or patient preferences. Psychosocial consideration is critical for a patient-centred approach to decision making. We aimed to implement a distinct MDTM for cancer patients with identified complex psychosocial needs.
Development and implementation:
The Adem Crosby Cancer Centre provides holistic care for patients within the Sunshine Coast (Queensland), including a wide range of cancer-specific psychology and allied health services. The Complex Patient MDTM (CP-MDTM) is an initiative of the psycho-oncology team and commenced in August 2017. The CP-MDTM is held fortnightly and membership of the Psychologist-led MDTM includes medical, nursing, mental health and allied health teams. Patients are discussed for a mean of 30 minutes, with a total of 61 presented since inception, and 8 representations. Discussion of the psychosocial issues contributing to patient complexity enables individualised care plans to be formulated. The psychology team chairs, minutes and is responsible for disseminating outcomes.
The CP- MDTM has become embedded in our clinical practice and is an integral part of our service. Increasing referrals is addressing unmet complex psychosocial needs of cancer patients. Future work to evaluate the effectiveness of the CP-MDTM is planned, as well as to identify barriers and enablers to facilitate ongoing success.