Surgeons' views on multi-disciplinary breast meetings

E J Macaskill, S Thrush, E M Walker, J M Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The aim of this study was to assess surgeons' views and their current commitments to multi-disciplinary breast meetings (MDMs). Two hundred and fifty questionnaires were sent out to registered members of the British Association of Surgical Oncology. Hundred and fifty-three were returned (reply rate 61.2%), of which 136 were suitable for analysis. All those who replied were involved in MDMs. 80.9% held MDMs once a week. Only 28% of MDMs were held during a protected session. Over 95% of surgeons and breast care nurses were present for the whole meeting. Radiologists and pathologists were present for the whole meeting in 90-95% of cases. In contrast, clinical oncologists were present for the whole MDM in 70% of cases and medical oncologists attended the whole meeting in only 44.1% of cases. There was variability in which patients were discussed in MDMs, and in many centres not all patients with cancer were discussed before surgery. Suggestions for improvement of MDMs included more time on protected sessions (72.8% in favour), time to prepare for meetings (29% in favour), allocation of a designated co-ordinator (30.9% in favour) and attendance of oncologists for the whole meeting (over 35% in favour). The majority of Breast MDMs were held at breakfast, lunch or the evening. There was variable attendance with a significant percentage of both clinical and medical oncologists not being present for the whole meeting. A quarter of units did not discuss patients with breast cancer before operation. This study shows that there is a need to improve provision for MDMs and to produce guidelines for these meetings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-8
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Congresses as Topic
  • General Surgery
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Patient Care Team
  • Physician's Practice Patterns
  • Questionnaires


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