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Attitudes and perceptions of radiologists towards online (virtual) oncologic multidisciplinary team meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic-a survey of the European Society of Oncologic Imaging (ESOI)

Eur Radiol. 2022 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s00330-022-09083-w. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: To explore radiologists’ opinions regarding the shift from in-person oncologic multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) to online MDTMs. To assess the perceived impact of online MDTMs, and to evaluate clinical and technical aspects of online meetings.

METHODS: An online questionnaire including 24 questions was e-mailed to all European Society of Oncologic Imaging (ESOI) members. Questions targeted the structure and efficacy of online MDTMs, including benefits and limitations.

RESULTS: A total of 204 radiologists responded to the survey. Responses were evaluated using descriptive statistical analysis. The majority (157/204; 77%) reported a shift to online MDTMs at the start of the pandemic. For the most part, this transition had a positive effect on maintaining and improving attendance. The majority of participants reported that online MDTMs provide the same clinical standard as in-person meetings, and that interdisciplinary discussion and review of imaging data were not hindered. Seventy three of 204 (35.8%) participants favour reverting to in-person MDTs, once safe to do so, while 7/204 (3.4%) prefer a continuation of online MDTMs. The majority (124/204, 60.8%) prefer a combination of physical and online MDTMs.

CONCLUSIONS: Online MDTMs are a viable alternative to in-person meetings enabling continued timely high-quality provision of care with maintained coordination between specialties. They were accepted by the majority of surveyed radiologists who also favoured their continuation after the pandemic, preferably in combination with in-person meetings. An awareness of communication issues particular to online meetings is important. Training, improved software, and availability of support are essential to overcome technical and IT difficulties reported by participants.

KEY POINTS: • Majority of surveyed radiologists reported shift from in-person to online oncologic MDT meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. • The shift to online MDTMs was feasible and generally accepted by the radiologists surveyed with the majority reporting that online MDTMs provide the same clinical standard as in-person meetings. • Most would favour the return to in-person MDTMs but would also accept the continued use of online MDTMs following the end of the current pandemic.

PMID:35986772 | DOI:10.1007/s00330-022-09083-w

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