'One-stop shop': Lung cancer patients' and caregivers' perceptions of multidisciplinary care in a community healthcare setting


Background: Multidisciplinary care is rarely practiced in community healthcare settings where the majority of patients receive lung cancer care in the US. We sought direct input from patients and their informal caregivers on their experience of lung cancer care delivery. Methods: We conducted focus groups of patient and caregiver dyads. Patients had received care for lung cancer in or out of a multidisciplinary thoracic oncology clinic coordinated by a nurse navigator. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using Creswell's 7-step process. Recurring overlapping themes were developed using constant comparative methods within the Grounded Theory framework. Results: A total of 46 participants were interviewed in focus groups of 5 patient-caregiver dyads. Overlapping themes were a perception that multidisciplinary care improved physician collaboration, patientphysician communication, and patient convenience, while reducing redundancy in testing. Improved coordination decreased confusion, stress, and anxiety. Negative experience of serial care included poor communication among physicians, insensitive communication about illness, delays in diagnosis and treatment, misdiagnosis, and mistreatment. Physician-to-physician communication and patient education were suggested areas for improvement in the multidisciplinary model. Conclusions: Multidisciplinary care was perceived as more patient-centered, effective, safe, and efficient than standard serial care. It was also believed to improve the timeliness of care and equitable access to high quality care. Additional studies to compare these perspectives to those of other key stakeholders, including clinicians, hospital administrators and representatives of third party payers, will facilitate better understanding of the role of multidisciplinary care programs in lung cancer care delivery.

Publication Title

Translational Lung Cancer Research