A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a group of professionals who are involved in the treatment of a person with a clinical need. The role of the MDT is to work together to deliver comprehensive care that addresses as many of the patient’s health and other needs as possible. The MDT constantly assess and review the needs of the individual, provide information to the patient and family, and refer to other professionals or agencies as required. Communication within the team, patient, family and carers is paramount and is the fundamentals of the MDT approach.
The importance of a MDT approach has been researched in many different clinical settings and in recent years has become an approach used in the treatment of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in the form of MND clinics. Having a large number of people with MND in a clinic setting leads to an increase in resources and clinical expertise that facilitate the management of what can be a rapidly progressive disease.
Studies in the past have shown that MDT clinics can improve the quality of life and prolong survival in other neurodegenerative diseases but one study based in Ireland has focused on the effect of an MDT clinic in the MND population. This study highlighted that a specific MDT clinic focused purely on the treatment of MND prolonged survival in comparison to attending a general neurology clinic, in particularly people with bulbar MND.
From my own clinical experience and talking with my patients they feel that a MDT approach gives them the information and support they need in what can be an ever changing disease.
Team members in the care of someone with MND include (but not limited to):
- Respiratory physician
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech pathologist
- Social Worker
- Community Care worker
- MND representative
Specialist MND MDT clinics are available all over Australia providing a coordinated MDT approach to care and ongoing expert review from professionals who specialise in the management of individuals with MND. Details of these clinics are available through MND Australia (www.mndaust.asn.au).
If you have any questions regarding MND, or for details about an assessment please contact advanced rehabilitation centre and Emma will be able to assist you.