Open Access Research article

A pre-post test evaluation of the impact of the PELICAN MDT-TME Development Programme on the working lives of colorectal cancer team members

Cath Taylor1*, Joanna M Sippitt2, Gary Collins3, Chris McManus4, Alison Richardson5, Jeremy Dawson6, Michael Richards7 and Amanda J Ramirez2

Author Affiliations

1 Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, London, SE1 8WA, UK

2 Promoting Early Presentation Group, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Adamson Centre, St Thomas' Hospital, London, SE1 7EH, UK

3 Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Wolfson College Annexe, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX2 6UD, UK

4 Department of Psychology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

5 School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospital Trust, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK

6 Work & Organisational Psychology Group, Aston Business School, Aston University Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

7 National Cancer Action Team, St Thomas' Hospital, London, SE1 7EH, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:187  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-187

Published: 29 June 2010



The PELICAN Multidisciplinary Team Total Mesorectal Excision (MDT-TME) Development Programme aimed to improve clinical outcomes for rectal cancer by educating colorectal cancer teams in precision surgery and related aspects of multidisciplinary care. The Programme reached almost all colorectal cancer teams across England. We took the opportunity to assess the impact of participating in this novel team-based Development Programme on the working lives of colorectal cancer team members.


The impact of participating in the programme on team members' self-reported job stress, job satisfaction and team performance was assessed in a pre-post course study. 333/568 (59%) team members, from the 75 multidisciplinary teams who attended the final year of the Programme, completed questionnaires pre-course, and 6-8 weeks post-course.


Across all team members, the main sources of job satisfaction related to working in multidisciplinary teams; whilst feeling overloaded was the main source of job stress. Surgeons and clinical nurse specialists reported higher levels of job satisfaction than team members who do not provide direct patient care, whilst MDT coordinators reported the lowest levels of job satisfaction and job stress. Both job stress and satisfaction decreased after participating in the Programme for all team members. There was a small improvement in team performance.


Participation in the Development Programme had a mixed impact on the working lives of team members in the immediate aftermath of attending. The decrease in team members' job stress may reflect the improved knowledge and skills conferred by the Programme. The decrease in job satisfaction may be the consequence of being unable to apply these skills immediately in clinical practice because of a lack of required infrastructure and/or equipment. In addition, whilst the Programme raised awareness of the challenges of teamworking, a greater focus on tackling these issues may have improved working lives further.