Thyroid Cancer Patients' View of Clinician Professionalism and Multidisciplinary Approach to Their Management
Juan J Díez 1 2 3 4 , Juan C Galofré 4 5 6
Objective: The objective of this study was to query thyroid cancer patients about 1) both the characteristics of the healthcare facilities where they were treated and the healthcare professionals that provided that treatment, as well as 2) the multidisciplinary approach used in the treatment process.
Methods: Using a web-based survey, patients were asked to give their opinion of the healthcare centers, the professionalism of their team of specialists, and the thyroid cancer multidisciplinary teams (MDT).
Results: For the 485 patients that responded, the most highly rated aspect of healthcare centers was the reduced waiting time between diagnosis and surgical intervention, an opinion expressed by 62.7% of patients. The most appreciated aspect of professionalism was the kindness shown toward patients by healthcare staff (66.6%). About 44.3% of patients were aware of the existence of thyroid cancer MDT. Most of respondents (82.7%) agreed that patients' opinions should be considered by their physicians when making treatment decisions.
Conclusion: We conclude that most patients with thyroid cancer appreciate therapeutic efficacy and kindness, and almost all are clearly in favor of using a multidisciplinary approach to their disease. Since such patients often demand to participate in the decision-making process, multidisciplinary teams should make every effort to share information with, and to integrate the opinion of, patients in the management of their thyroid disease.