Division for Organizational Health Services Research
Department of Health Services Research
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Campus Haarentor, Building V04
Ammerländer Heerstraße 140
Scientific project leader:
Prof. Dr. Lena Ansmann
Prof. Nicole Ernstmann
Operative project leader:
Prof. Dr. Walther Kuhn, Dr. med. Andrea Hocke, Dr. med. Christina Kaiser (Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of General Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology, University Clinic Bonn)
Petra Kunz, Hedy Bodden (Self-help group for women with cancer NRW e.V.)
Breast cancer centers of North Rhine-Westphalia
06/2017 - 05/2020
German Cancer Aid e.V.
A central instrument of multidisciplinary care in oncology is the so-called multidisciplinary tumor conference (MTC). In MTC the diagnosis and the further treatment of cancer patients are being discussed and therapy recommendations are worked out. The previous study WORG OUT (Work Organization and Patient Outcomes), funded by the German Cancer Aid, was able to show that in some North Rhine-Westphalian breast centers, patients have participated in the discussion of their case within the MTC. However, the study situation on the risks and benefits of the patient participation does not yet provide substantiated findings.
Therefore the target of the research project is to examine, how MTCs are arranged with and without patient participation, and how the parties rate patient participation. Research questions are: 1.) In what way do the MTCs with and without patient participation differ with regard to the organization, interaction and patient orientation? 2.) How do the patients experience the participation and which direct effects does the participation have? 3.) How do the caregivers assess the participation of patients in the MTCs with regard to feasibility and quality of the decision-making? On the base of these results the potential effects on the patient outcomes can be explored systematically and interventionally.
In an explorative study, MTCs in six North Rhine-Westphalian breast centers with and without patient participation are examined with a triangulation of different methods. In the qualitative part, caregivers are invited to focus group discussions, in which the feasibility of patient participations, as well as the quality of the decision-making shall be discussed. Subsequently, videotaped participatory observations in MTC are executed. In the quantitative part, patients participating in the MTC are being interviewed before and after the participation with a short survey about the topics anxiety, therapy confidence and psychosocial need for information, as well as their expectations before and their experiences after the MTC.
From the results, first indications of feasibility, risks and benefits of the patient participation in MTC for patients and caregivers can be derived. The results shall be discussed with patients and caregivers in workshops and also be nationally published.