Multidisciplinary Clinics in Lung Cancer Care: A Systematic Review

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Multidisciplinary cancer clinics (MDCCs) are recognized in cancer care as an alternate model of care for lung cancer patients. However, the precise MDCC characteristics that could potentially improve the quality of care in lung cancer care have not been clearly defined. We performed a systematic review of the data regarding MDCCs in the treatment of patients with lung cancer to summarize and evaluate the available evidence and to determine valuable clinic characteristics and projected outcomes. We searched Embase, Cochrane, Medline, PubMed, and Web of Science through April 2017 for studies that included ≥ 2 physician specialties in a MDCC for lung cancer. A total of 2374 unique articles were identified, of which 13 met the inclusion criteria. All the studies were either retrospective or qualitative, with many having small sample sizes. The most commonly reported quantitative outcome for MDCCs was a decreased time from diagnosis to treatment; however, this was only statistically significant in 2 studies. Evidence was conflicting regarding improved patient survival. Several studies of MDCCs reported improved qualitative outcomes, including increased patient satisfaction, increased collaboration, and cohesive communication among care providers, although the sample sizes were small. The few studies of MDCCs that included a care coordinator, in addition to physicians from multiple specialties, reported improvements in patient satisfaction. Overall, our review of the reported data revealed a paucity of evidence regarding the value of MDCCs for lung cancer patients, highlighting the need for further studies to understand the optimal medical model to deliver care.

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