Team leadership and cancer end-of-life decision making

Julie M. Waldfogel, Dena J. Battle, Michael Rosen, Louise Knight, Catherine B. Saiki, Suzanne A. Nesbit, Rhonda S. Cooper, Ilene S. Browner, Laura H. Hoofring, Lynn S. Billing, Sydney M. Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


End-of-life decision making in cancer can be a complicated process. Patients and families encounter multiple providers throughout their cancer care. When the efforts of these providers are not well coordinated in teams, opportunities for high-quality, longitudinal goals of care discussions can be missed. This article reviews the case of a 55-year-old man with lung cancer, illustrating the barriers and missed opportunities for end-of-life decision making in his care through the lens of team leadership, a key principle in the science of teams. The challenges demonstrated in this case reflect the importance of the four functions of team leadership: information search and structuring, information use in problem solving, managing personnel resources, and managing material resources. Engaging in shared leadership of these four functions can help care providers improve their interactions with patients and families concerning end-of-life care decision making. This shared leadership can also produce a cohesive care plan that benefits from the expertise of the range of available providerswhile reflecting patient needs and preferences. Clinicians and researchers should consider the roles of teamleadership functions andshared leadership in improving patient care when developing and studying models of cancer care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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