Healthcare Teams & Teamwork Processes in Cancer Care Delivery


Reducing cancer morbidity and mortality requires interactions between patients, caregivers, clinicians, and clinical staff from primary care and multiple specialties. Challenges to and breakdowns in communication and coordination across the cancer continuum are common, diminish patient outcomes, and contribute to patient, caregiver, and clinician workload. Improving the function of healthcare teams, defined as two or more people who interact to achieve shared patient care goals, was identified by the National Academy of MedicineExternal Web Site Policy as a vital step toward delivering high-quality, well-coordinated care across the cancer care continuum for all people. The goal of the Healthcare Teams initiative is to advance a program of research that supports the development and implementation of evidence-based strategies that improve healthcare team functioning, care coordination, and cancer-related outcomes.

NCI is conducting several activities in service of building such a program of research. This work aims to:

  • Identify principles of team structure and teamwork processes that enhance the delivery of multidisciplinary cancer care
  • Promote generation of evidence-based interventions to strengthen teaming and care coordination across the cancer care continuum, particularly among underserved populations and during care transitions
  • Develop an interdisciplinary community of investigators whose research furthers an evidence-based understanding of team-based care structures and teamwork process that influence care coordination and equitable access to high-quality cancer care and other collaborators working to facilitate adoption of findings into cancer care practice

Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)

  • Notice of special interest: NCI’s Interest in Research to Improve Interprofessional Teamwork and Coordination During Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
    NOT-CA-19-059External Web Site Policy
  • Parent FOAs for investigator-initiated applications
    • Cancer Prevention and Control Clinical Trials Grant Program
      PAR-21-035External Web Site Policy
    • NIH Research Project Grant
      PAR 20-185External Web Site Policy

Additional resources:

Related Activities

Related Publications & Reports

  • Mollica M, Buckenmaier S, Halpern M, McNeel T, Weaver SJ, Doose M, Kent E. Perceptions of care coordination among older adult cancer survivors: A SEER-CAHPS study. J of Geriatric Oncology. 2021,12(3):446-452. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2020.09.003. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Verhoeven D, Chollette V, Lazzara EH, Shuffler ML, Osarogiagbon RU, Weaver SJ. The anatomy and physiology of teaming in cancer care delivery: A conceptual framework. J National Cancer Institute. 2021;113(4):360-370. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djaa166. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Chollette V, Weaver SJ, Huang G, Tsakraklides S, Ping-Tu S. Identifying cancer care team competencies to improve care coordination in multiteam systems: A modified delphi study. JCO Oncology Practice. 2020; 16(11), e1324-e133. doi: 10.1200/OP.20.00001. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Weaver SJ, Jacobsen P. Cancer care coordination: Opportunities for healthcare delivery research. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2018;8;503-508. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibx079. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Rosen MA, DiazGranados D, Dietz A, Benishek LE, Thompson D, Pronovost PJ, Weaver SJ. Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high quality care. American Psychologist. 2018;73(4): 433-450. doi: 10.1037/amp0000298. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Prabhu Das I, Baker M, Altice C, Castro KM, Brandys B, Mitchell SA. Outcomes of multidisciplinary treatment planning in United States cancer care settings. Cancer. 2018;124(18):3656-3667. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31394. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Weaver SJ, Che X, Petersen LA, Hysong S. Unpacking care coordination issues through a multi-team system lens: A conceptual framework & systematic review. Med Care. 2018;56(3): 247-259. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Chollette V, Beasley DD, Abdiwahab E, Taplin S. Health information systems approach to managing task interdependence in cancer care teams. J Oncol Pract. 2017 Mar;13(3):154-156. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Kosty MP, Hanley A, Chollette V, Bruinooge SS, Taplin SH. National Cancer Institute-American Society of Clinical Oncology Teams in Cancer Care Project. J Oncol Pract. 2016 Nov;12(11):955-958. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Taplin SH, Weaver S, Salas E, Chollette V, Edwards HM, Bruinooge S, Kosty M. Reviewing cancer care team effectiveness. J Oncol Pract. 2015;11(3):239-46. Review. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]
  • Taplin SH, Weaver S, Chollette VC, Bruinooge S, Marks L, Jacobs A, Schiff G, Stricker C, Salas E. Teams and teamwork during a cancer diagnosis: interdependency within and between teams. J Oncol Pract. 2015;11(3):231-8. Case study. [View abstractExternal Web Site Policy]


For questions, please contact Veronica Chollette.

Last Updated: 04 Oct, 2021