Despite the prevalence of multidisciplinary (MD) care for cancer, rigorous studies comparing it to serial care (SC) are lacking. To address the literature gap, researchers explored the use of MD versus SC for lung cancer and presented the findings at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Researchers used an observational study to compare the differences in using MD versus SC for patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer in the same U.S. healthcare system.

At baseline, three months, and six months, patients completed several satisfaction measures that were developed from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems as well as the National Health Interview Survey “Perceived Financial Burden of Care” instrument.

The study enrolled 456 patients (159 patients for MD and 297 patients for SC). Each group had similar genders and health insurance status. The MD cohort was slightly older in age (69 years versus 66 years in the SC group) and had more racial minorities (37% versus 29% in the SC group).

Results showed that the MD cohort saw a greater general improvement over time. Patients reported satisfaction with the treatment plan (p = 0.0036) and the quality of care received from the care team (p = 0.0377).

Study results also demonstrated that a perceived financial burden of care increased slightly over time for the MD cohort but decreased slightly for SC (p = 0.0352). Patients in the MD cohort also perceived their cancer care to be better than care received by other patients (p = 0.0025).

“Compared with SC, MD recipients perceived their care to be better than that received by other patients with lung cancer and had greater improvements over the course of treatment in satisfaction with their treatment plan and care team. These positive patient-reported outcomes occurred despite slightly greater perceived financial burden of care,” the authors concluded.