Pilot evaluation of a novel observational tool for collaboration and communication within multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs)

Authors

  • Amy Gillis Tallaght Hospital
  • Marie Morris Trinity College Dublin
  • Nikita Bhatt Tallaght Hospital
  • Paul Ridgway Trinity College Dublin, Tallaght Hospital

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.26716

Keywords:

assessment, evaluation, group functioning, multidisciplinary team meeting, multidisciplinary tumour board, outcome

Abstract

Background: Despite widespread use of multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs) to facilitate patient care, little evidence exists that MDTs improve patient survival or impact care. Research into MDT function and outcome is limited. This pilot study looks to validate a novel tool developed to assess MDT functioning. Methods: A tool was developed with predefined Likert behaviour stems in the areas of structure, communication and collaboration. The tool was evaluated in nine MDTs by three independent observers and included participant evaluation. Inter-rater reliability was calculated with intraclass-correlation coefficients (ICC); Student’s t-test was used to calculate significance in participant evaluation and matched observations. Results: The tool was used to evaluate 9 MDTs, discussing 133 cases. The overall ICC for the three coders was 0.935; for each MDT: 0.776–0.917. The inter-rater reliability for each MDT observation ranged from 0.245–0.923; the majority with an ICC >0.8. No significant difference was noted between participant evaluation and observer response. Discussion: MDTs provide a means of coordinating complex care for patients. This tool provides a means of evaluating group interaction within MDTs and is designed for use by different medical personnel. The pilot study has shown promising ICC; further evaluation is needed using a broader group of MDTs and including case complexity and outcome.

Author Biographies

Amy Gillis, Tallaght Hospital

Amy Gillis is a Consultant General Surgeon, and is currently completing a Masters in Science through trinity College Dublin. She completed a fellowship in Surgical Oncology from the University of Toronto, Canada. her research interests include communication in postgraduate years and within medical practice, group functioning and impacts on cancer-care outcomes.

Marie Morris, Trinity College Dublin

Marie Morris is currently completing her PhD in Surgery and is involved in undergraduate medical education with Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests include assessment methods in undergraduate medicine, communication skills within formative medical years, clinical skills training methods and the transition to skill-level at early post-graduate levels.

Nikita Bhatt, Tallaght Hospital

Nikita Bhatt is currently within the surgical training program of the royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. her interest areas include management algorithms for a common general surgical condition, namely gall bladder polyps, and the current impact of sarcoma management in Ireland.

Paul Ridgway, Trinity College Dublin, Tallaght Hospital

Paul Ridgway is a Consultant Surgical Oncologist practising in upper gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary surgery. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Trinity College Dublin and has completed his MD from Imperial College, London. his research interests include technical skill acquisition in surgeons and the use, development and application of novel assessment techniques such as functional mrI in skills transfer and deductive reasoning.

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Published

2017-02-08

How to Cite

Gillis, A., Morris, M., Bhatt, N., & Ridgway, P. (2017). Pilot evaluation of a novel observational tool for collaboration and communication within multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs). Communication and Medicine, 13(1), 135–147. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.26716