Physician cooperation in outpatient cancer care. An amplified secondary analysis of qualitative interview data.
The aim of this study was to characterize practice patterns and decision-making processes of healthcare providers attending weekly neuro-oncology tumor board meetings, and to assess their familiarity with clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in neuro-oncology. Members of the Neuro-Oncology Tumor Team at two tertiary cancer centers completed a web-based questionnaire assessing characteristics of weekly tumor board meetings and perceptions of CPGs. Twenty-three (66%) tumor team members responded. Diagnostic imaging results and interpretation, medical, surgical, and/or radiation treatment planning, and pathology results and interpretation were the most commonly identified aspects of patient care discussed at tumor board meetings, and almost all respondents indicated that these meetings were “very beneficial” to their own practice. When deciding on a treatment plan, respondents rely most on the clinical expertise of colleagues, medical literature, personal experience, active clinical trial protocols, and published CPGs. Opinions of the local CPGs varied considerably, and while 56% of respondents supported regular discussion of them during meetings, only 32% indicated that they were routinely reviewed. Updating the literature more frequently, implementing a formal grading system for the evidence, and incorporating clinical care pathways were the most frequently cited methods to improve the CPGs. Tumor board meetings are beneficial to the treatment planning process for neuro-oncology patients.