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Decisional comfort in the multidisciplinary care of cancer patients : a pilot study based on simulated medical interviews

Units : Psychosomatic and Psycho-Oncology Research Unit | ULB621

Description :

Multidisciplinary team meeting is now a standard of care in oncology. It contributes, along with significant communicational,
psychological and physiological factors specific to physicians in oncology consultations, to decrease or increase physician's comfort
during multidisciplinary treatment decision-making process. The aim of this study is to assess, using a validated tool,
physicians' decision comfort throughout a simulated multidisciplinary treatment decision-making process for a complex cancer case.  The
experimental design will be centered on two simulated interviews with a patient-actress, performed during physicians' actual clinical
consultations (n= 60 participant physicians). These interviews will be recorded and transcribed in order to identify
communicational micro-events associated with physicians' decision comfort. Relevant psychological and physiological markers such as physicians'
empathy, physicians' perceived psychological stress, physicians' cardiovascular and cortisol measures, will be assessed before,
during and after these interviews and correlated with their decision comfort. This research is innovative on one hand because it
proposes and field-tests in an actual clinical oncology setting, a model of multidisciplinary treatment decision-making, which
includes physician's decision comfort. On the other hand, this study will lead to better understanding of physicians' motivations
behind complex decision-making and its impact on their wellbeing.