‘Unspoken’ Outcomes: The Unintended Consequences of Interactions in MDT Meetings as Supporting Staff Well-Being and the Delivery of Compassionate Care

  • Lindsay AikmanEmail author
Part of the The Language of Mental Health book series (TLMH)


Aikman challenges readers to think more broadly about the benefits served by multidisciplinary team meetings in health care. Focusing on the way in which professionals actually speak in these settings, the chapter draws out relational features of interactions. Aikman makes connections with how MDT meetings could mitigate worker burnout and compassion fatigue by providing restorative spaces for staff to support each other, build more effective learning cultures by increasing interpersonal risk-taking and psychological safety, and ultimately enable teams to deliver more compassionate health care; the converse also being indicated. The chapter highlights specific linguistic strategies that professionals could integrate in their meeting practice including how to seek support, air frustration and name tensions.



I would like to thank the five teams that took part in this project. I appreciate their willingness to allow researchers to be party to the way they conduct their work.

I would particularly like to thank each of psychologists in the team who acted as points of liaison for their respective teams.

Thanks go to my supervisors: Cordet Smart for attention to detail and unerring enthusiasm throughout the project; and Sarah Baldrey for her central role in facilitating introductions with chronic pain care teams.

I was fortunate to be part of a Conversation Analysis Research Group based at the University of Plymouth. Thank you to them for the steady flow of critical thinking and fresh perspectives on data. With special thanks to Nicole Parish, my colleague, friend and fellow CA researcher, for her endless ability to inspire and find ways we can share our research with the world.

Most of all I would like to thank my partner, Chris, for his support and being the voice in my head encouraging my own self-care.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Livewell SouthwestPlymouthUK

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