Use of the KT-MCC strategy to improve the quality of decision making for multidisciplinary cancer conferences: a pilot study
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BACKGROUND: Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences (MCCs) are increasingly used to guide treatment decisions for patients with cancer, though numerous barriers to optimal MCC decision-making quality have been identified. We aimed to improve the quality of MCC decision making through the use of an implementation bundle titled the KT-MCC Strategy. The Strategy included use of discussion tools (standard case intake tool and a synoptic discussion tool), workshops, MCC team and chair training, and audit and feedback. Implementation strategies were selected using a theoretically-rooted and integrated KT approach, meaning members of the target population (MCC participants) assisted with the design and implementation of the intervention and strategies. We evaluated implementation quality of the KT-MCC Strategy and initial signals of impact on decision making quality. METHODS: This was a before-and-after study design among 4 MCC teams. Baseline data (before-phase) were collected for a period of 2 months to assess the quality of MCC decision making. Study teams selected the intervention strategies they wished to engage with. Post-intervention data (after-phase) were collected for 4 months. Implementation quality outcomes included reach, adherence/fidelity and adaptation. We also evaluated feasibility of data management. Decision making quality was evaluated on a per-case and per-round level using the MTB-MODe and MDT-OARS tools, respectively. RESULTS: There were a total of 149 cases and 23 MCCs observed in the before phase and 260 cases and 35 MCCs observed in the after phase. Teams implemented 3/5 strategies; adherence to selected strategies varied by MCC team. The per-round quality of MCCs improved by 11% (41.0 to 47.3, p = < 0.0001). The quality of per-case decision-making did not improve significantly (32.3 to 32.6, p = 0.781). CONCLUSION: While per round MCC decision making quality improved significantly, per-case decision-making quality did not. We posit that the limited improvements on decision making quality may be attributed to implementation quality gaps, including a lack of uptake of and adherence to theoretically-identified implementation strategies. Our findings highlight the importance of evaluating implementation quality and processes, iterative testing, and engagement of key gatekeepers in the implementation process.
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