Is patient participation in multidisciplinary tumor conferences associated with their information needs? A multicenter prospective observational study
This article was originally published here
BMJ Open. Sep 23, 2021; 11 (9): e049199. doi: 10.1136 / bmjopen-2021-049199.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the association between the participation of breast cancer patients and gynecologic cancer patients in their own multidisciplinary tumor conference (TCM) and their information needs regarding their disease and options treatment.
METHODS: This is a prospective observational study that took place in six breast and gynecologic cancer centers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The inclusion criteria for patients included a minimum age of 18 years and at least one diagnosis of breast cancer or gynecologic cancer. Three surveys were administered. T0 (shortly before MTC), T1 (directly after MTC) and T2 (4 weeks after MTC). Patient information needs were measured using two three-item subscales of the Cancer Patient Information Needs Scale. Analysis of change was performed by one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). To control for sampling bias, another unidirectional repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) included a propensity score as a covariate.
RESULTS: Data from 81 patients in the participation group and 120 patients in the non-participation group were analyzed. The patient groups did not differ in their levels of information needs at T0 or T2. From T0 to T2, the information needs increased statistically significantly in both groups for both disease-related information (η² = 0.354) and treatment-related information (η² = 0.250). The increase in both types of information needs lost its statistical significance when the propensity score was included as a covariate. Neither ANOVA nor ANCOVA found a statistically significant association between patients’ participation in TCM and their self-reported information needs.
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Regarding the information needs of patients, the results do not support a general recommendation for or against patient participation in their MTCs. Future research should focus on different ways of involving patients in their facilitated MTCs at different cancer centers. Further research should also aim to establish what characteristics of patients and diseases predispose patients to benefit from participation in their TCMs.