Enhancing and supporting deliberations within multidisciplinary decision teams

An important problem for health care teams is understanding how individuals within the team share knowledge and make decisions regarding patient care and treatment. These processes for decision making are rarely studied in detail or recorded systematically in the context of multidisciplinary medical teams. The study of decision making processes is essential for developing new knowledge which can influence guidelines, tools and technology for understanding how to better support medical teams in the future.

Project aim

Apply knowledge management principles to model group reasoning processes and use that model to create tools for enhancing the quality of decisions and their documentation for multidisciplinary teams.

How to make sure nothing is overlooked, and the best knowledge is accessible for the group of people responsible for an effective decision in complex situations?

The project will provide tools to support groups of doctors making decisions about multiple conditions that patients could have and generalise the learnings to a broader context.

People and partners

Chief investigators

Frada Burstein
Frada Burstein
Andrew Stranieri
Andrew Stranieri (FU)
John Yearwood
John Yearwood (Deakin University)
James Warren
James Warren (University of Auckland)
Alan Wolf
Alan Wolf (Wimmera Health Group)

Research students

Paul Perversi – Supervisors: John Yearwood, Emilia Bellucci (Deakin, Business IS), Andrew Stranieri
Vishakha Sharma – Supervisors: Andrew Stranieri
Yahya Kazemzadeh – Supervisors: Frada Burstein, Pari Delir Haghighi (Monash), Andrew Stranieri


The project was awarded and commenced in 2014. Since commencement, the following has been undertaken within the project:

  • Ethics approval for an ethnographic study of clinical reasoning on ward rounds has been granted and the RA collected pilot data at the big metropolitan hospital, and a regional hospital ward rounds were observed by a Mr Paul Pervasi PhD candidate from Deakin University funded by the ARC scholarship. The results of these studies are been presented as a journal paper.
  • Observations of clinical reasoning in multi-disciplinary cancer meetings has been conducted by Ms Vishakha Sharma, the Federation PhD doctoral candidate. A conference paper was published and presented at the IFIP WG8.3 DSS’2016 conference at CCU, Cork (see for details: Sharma, V, Stranieri, A, Burstein, F, Warren, J, Daly, S, Patterson, L, Yearwood, J & Wolff, A 2016, 'Group decision making in health care: A case study of multidisciplinary meetings' Journal of Decision Systems, vol 25, no. S1, pp. 476-485. DOI: 10.1080/12460125.2016.1187388
  • The major outcome of the project is a Deliberation Simulator which has been developed for training students clinical reasoning. Project Research Fellow, Dr Heather Mays is in charge of testing the simulator in a lab experiment. A usability study with Fed Uni biomedical students provided a general feedback on the interface of the system. A major lab experiment involving medical students from Deakin University will be completed by the end of 2017. Once analysed - the results will be published in medical education journal.
  • The simulator represents the online environment as a template for complex decision support. The Deliberation Simulator will be of immediate utility in medical education and the prototype will be made available for a trial by medical students from all participating universities.


Prof. Frada Burstein

No content

No content