Multidisciplinary care is an integrated team approach to healthcare in which medical and allied health professionals consider all relevant treatment options and collaboratively develop a treatment and care plan for each patient that considers the individual’s personal and social circumstances and preferences.1 For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this includes consideration of the patient’s kinship and family ties and their cultural beliefs and values.
Multidisciplinary care is considered the cornerstone of best practice cancer care. Membership of the multidisciplinary team depends on cancer type. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, it is essential that the team includes cultural as well as clinical expertise.
There are currently no national data available for this indicator.
Limited information is collected at a jurisdictional level about multidisciplinary care or multidisciplinary teams for cancer care for the general population or for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Core Cancer (Clinical) Data Set (CCDSS) includes a cancer treatment multidisciplinary team review indicator but this does not reference Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identification or the presence in multidisciplinary teams of experts in the provision of culturally safe cancer care.
- Cancer Australia. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework. Priority area 5: Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer receive optimal and culturally appropriate treatment, services, and supportive and palliative care
- Cancer Australia. Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer: Intent and key principles
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. CCDSS data item: Cancer treatment –multidisciplinary team review – Yes/No/Unknown
1. Cancer Australia. Multidisciplinary care. [Accessed 3 June 2020].