Dataset Information


Do multidisciplinary cancer care teams suffer decision-making fatigue: an observational, longitudinal team improvement study.



The objective of this study was to examine effectiveness of codesigned quality-improving interventions with a multidisciplinary team (MDT) with high workload and prolonged meetings to ascertain: (1) presence and impact of decision-making (DM) fatigue on team performance in the weekly MDT meeting and (2) impact of a short meeting break as a countermeasure of DM fatigue.

Design and interventions

This is a longitudinal multiphase study with a codesigned intervention bundle assessed within team audit and feedback cycles. The interventions comprised short meeting breaks, as well as change of room layout and appointing a meeting chair.

Setting and participants

A breast cancer MDT with 15 members was recruited between 2013 and 2015 from a teaching hospital of the London (UK) metropolitan area.


A validated observational tool (Metric for the Observation of Decision-making) was used by trained raters to assess quality of DM during 1335 patient reviews. The tool scores quality of information and team contributions to reviews by individual disciplines (Likert-based scores), which represent our two primary outcome measures.


Data were analysed using multivariate analysis of variance. DM fatigue was present in the MDT meetings: quality of information (M=16.36?to M=15.10) and contribution scores (M=27.67?to M=21.52) declined from first to second half of meetings at baseline. Of the improvement bundle, we found breaks reduced the effect of fatigue: following introduction of breaks (but not other interventions) information quality remained stable between first and second half of meetings (M=16.00?to M=15.94), and contributions to team DM improved overall (M=17.66?to M=19.85).


Quality of cancer team DM is affected by fatigue due to sequential case review over often prolonged periods of time. This detrimental effect can be reversed by introducing a break in the middle of the meeting. The study offers a methodology based on 'team audit and feedback' principle for codesigning interventions to improve teamwork in cancer care.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC6549703 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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