Communication & Medicine, Vol 13, No 1 (2016)

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

Amy Gillis, Marie Morris, Nikita Bhatt, Paul Ridgway
Issued Date: 8 Feb 2017


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.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.26716


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