Supporting patients and their caregivers to participate
Explaining the concept of ‘MDC’ is an important part of introducing MDC to the patient and their caregiver. It is important to explain how meetings work, the meeting structure and any issues related to confidentiality.
The MDC team should ensure that both the patient’s and caregiver’s needs are met, wherever possible. Patients’ and caregivers’ perceptions about their cancer journey and interactions with health professionals may influence the treatment planning and care. Health professionals need to acknowledge this and be aware that the way they relate to, and communicate with, the patient and their caregivers may affect the way the patient and caregivers cope with the cancer. It also can affect the way caregivers resolve their grief following the death of the patient.
Caregivers are vital participants in the cancer journey. Caregivers are family members and/or friends identified by the patient who provide psychosocial and/or physical support to the patient throughout their disease. The role of caregivers should be discussed with the patient to ensure caregivers are involved, where appropriate. Information and support should also be offered to caregivers as required.