PRINCIPLE 3: Multidisciplinary care

PRINCIPLE 3: Multidisciplinary care

Multidisciplinary care is an integrated team approach that involves all relevant health professionals discussing all relevant treatment options and making joint recommendations about treatment and supportive care plans, taking into account the personal preferences of patients.

Multidisciplinary care improves patient outcomes. Cancer Australia’s ‘Principles of multidisciplinary care’ provides a flexible definition, allowing services to vary implementation according to cancer type and the service location. The principles stipulate:

  • a team approach that involves core disciplines that are integral to providing good care, including general practice, with input from other specialties as required
  • communication among team members about treatment planning and plans for follow-up
  • access to the full therapeutic range for all patients, regardless of geographical remoteness or size of institution
  • care delivery in accordance with nationally agreed standards
  • patient involvement in decisions about their care (Cancer Australia 2019a).

In addition to these principles, treatment teams should consider clinical trial participation for all eligible patients.

Multidisciplinary meetings, often called MDMs, should be based on the principles outlined above.

For more information on the principles of multidisciplinary care and the benefits of adopting a multidisciplinary approach, see Cancer Australia’s ‘Principles of multidisciplinary care’.