The purpose of this paper is to explore physical and mental health patients’ experience of multidisciplinary team (MDT) care and decision making in order to highlight factors underlying effective care and to identify areas in which patient experience could be improved.
Totally, 12 MDTs within the North Thames area participated; the authors recruited 13 patients from physical health MDTs and seven patients from mental health MDTs. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with each participant and thematically analysed the transcripts.
The study found a marked contrast in patient experience: physical health patients emphasised their faith in the judgement of MDT clinicians, described experiencing high quality care and expressed a strong preference not to attend MDT meetings; mental health patients highlighted a range of negative experiences, were frequently sceptical about their diagnosis, and expressed a desire to have greater involvement in the decisions directing their care.
It was necessary to revise the initial target of interviewing six patients per MDT due to recruitment difficulties.
In order to improve care, mental health MDTs should focus on promoting a shared understanding of illness by increasing the transparency of the diagnostic process. Key factors underlying effective MDT care in physical health services include enabling patients to determine their level of involvement in decision making and ensuring patients have a clear understanding of their care plan.
The paper highlights the importance of mental health MDTs focusing on developing a shared understanding of illness with their patients.
O'Driscoll, W., Livingston, G., Lanceley, A., Nic a' Bháird, C., Xanthopoulou, P., Wallace, I., Manoharan, M. and Raine, R. (2014), "Patient experience of MDT care and decision-making", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 265-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-07-2014-0024
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