Multidisciplinary care increases breast cancer patient satisfaction
Adding to the growing list of benefits associated with multidisciplinary care, a new study from Health Services Research reports that breast cancer patients reported higher levels of satisfaction when their medical oncologists co-managed their care with other physician specialists.
Surveying physicians about their practice
According to Health Behavior News Service, “Researchers surveyed 347 breast cancer specialists, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons, about their usual practice style for 10 clinical tasks associated with breast cancer care. The specialists answered questions about whether they manage common breast cancer treatment tasks independently, co-manage tasks with other physicians or refer patients to other providers. Radiation oncologists reported co-managing more tasks, followed by surgeons and medical oncologists.”
The relationship between physician practice and patient satisfaction
The researchers then reviewed the patient satisfaction scores of 411 breast cancer patients who had been treated by one of the surveyed medical oncologists. “Patients gave higher ratings to medical oncologists who actively co-managed decision making—rather than simply referring patients to another specialist—in four different areas: choosing type of breast surgery, decisions about radiation, treatment of lymphedema (limb swelling after breast surgery) and treatment of depression.”
A growing body of evidence in support of multidisciplinary care
This study is merely the latest to quantify the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. (See also this study: Documenting the Value of Multidisciplinary Care in Urologic Cancers )
For more information
For more information about establishing a multidisciplinary clinics, please see the the chapter on Multidisciplinary Care in Elevating the Patient Experience.