Facilitators and barriers to conducting an efficient, competent and high-quality oncological multidisciplinary team meeting

Janneke E. W. Walraven, Rob H. A. Verhoeven, Renske van der Meulen, Jacobus J. M. van der Hoeven, Valery E. P. P. Lemmens, Gijs Hesselink, Ingrid M. E. Desar

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BACKGROUND: Optimal oncological care nowadays requires discussing every patient in a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDTM). The number of patients to be discussed is rising rapidly due to the increasing incidence and prevalence of cancer and the emergence of new multidisciplinary treatment options. This puts MDTMs under considerable time pressure. The aim of this study is therefore to identify the facilitators and barriers with regard to performing an efficient, competent and high-quality MDTM. METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with Dutch medical specialists and residents participating in oncological MDTMs. Purposive sampling was used to maximise variation in participants' professional and demographic characteristics (eg, sex, medical specialist vs resident, specialty, type and location of affiliated hospital). Interview data were systematically analysed according to the principles of thematic content analysis. RESULTS: Sixteen medical specialists and 19 residents were interviewed. All interviewees agreed that attending and preparing MDTMs is time-consuming and indicated the need for optimal execution in order to ensure that MDTMs remain feasible in the near future. Four themes emerged that are relevant to achieving an optimal MDTM: (1) organisational aspects; (2) participants' responsibilities and requirements; (3) competences, behaviour and team dynamics and (4) meeting content. Good organisation, a sound structure and functioning information and communication technology facilitate high-quality MDTMs. Multidisciplinary collaboration and adequate communication are essential competences for participants; a lack thereof and the existence of a hierarchy are hindering factors. CONCLUSION: Conducting an efficient, competent and high-quality oncological MDTM is facilitated and hindered by many factors. Being aware of these factors provides opportunities for optimising MDTMs, which are under pressure due to the increase in the number of patients to discuss.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002130
JournalBMJ open quality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2023


  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Communication
  • Medical education
  • Qualitative research
  • Teamwork

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