Purpose The role of multidisciplinary care (MDC) on cancer care processes is not fully understood. We investigated the impact of MDC on the processes of care at cancer centers within the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). Methods The study used data from patients diagnosed with stage IIB to III rectal cancer, stage III colon cancer, and stage III non-small-cell lung cancer at 14 NCCCP cancer centers from 2007 to 2012. We used an MDC development assessment tool-with levels ranging from evolving MDC (low) to achieving excellence (high)-to measure the level of MDC implementation in seven MDC areas, such as case planning and physician engagement. Descriptive statistics and cluster-adjusted regression models quantified the association between MDC implementation and processes of care, including time from diagnosis to treatment receipt. Results A total of 1,079 patients were examined. Compared with patients with colon cancer treated at cancer centers reporting lowMDCscores, time to treatment receiptwas shorter for patients with colon cancer treated at cancer centers reporting high or moderate MDC scores for physician engagement (hazard ratio [HR] for high physician engagement, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.70 to 4.17; HR for moderate physician engagement, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.89) and longer for patients with colon cancer treated at cancer centers reporting high 2MDC scores for case planning (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.85). Results for patients with rectal cancer were qualitatively similar, and there was no statistically significant difference among patients with lung cancer. Conclusion MDC implementation level was associated with processes of care, and direction of association varied across MDC assessment areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy