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A study has been launched to look into the attitudes of healthcare providers towards medical cannabis. The study, led by Dr. John P. Morgan, the principal investigator, of the Health Behaviour Research Centre of the University of Newcastle, will take place through a series of focus groups with healthcare professionals. Over six months, the study will look at the attitudes of doctors and nurses towards the use of cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions. The first of these focus groups is on the use of cannabis in palliative care, and is to be held in early March.
A new survey goes directly to health professionals in the United States and Canada for their opinions on their experience with medical cannabis and their advice on its use. The study is part of a recently announced study involving the Center for Cannabis Excellence, Inc. (CCOE), Medicinal Genomics and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Business Charlton, according to Cannabis Science and Technology. The study, aptly titled Medical Cannabis Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices Study, will collect information from medical cannabis practitioners about their experience using medical cannabis in their practice, their previous training on the subject and their interest in future clinical training on medical cannabis, the CCOE said in an earlier announcement. Dr. Marion McNabb, president of the CCOE, notes that even the basics of the endocannabinoid system, the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis, and approaches to integrating medicinal cannabis use are not part of the regular training of most healthcare professionals, Cannabis Science and Technology reports. According to Dr. McNabb, they are specialists in medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, emergency medicine, addiction and rehabilitation. As evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis continues to accumulate and its effective use in treatments becomes more widespread, the aim of this study is to learn from health professionals themselves what they know and want to know about medicinal cannabis and how its use can be integrated into their practice, she adds. Research published in 2019 found that 58.1% of healthcare providers surveyed strongly or somewhat agree that medical cannabis is a legitimate treatment option. Nonetheless, gaps in physicians’ knowledge about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating certain conditions must be filled, and accurate information about the likelihood of drug interactions must be disseminated to address physicians’ concerns, the study authors write. The aim of this study is to find out from health professionals themselves what they know and want to know about medicinal cannabis and how its use can be integrated into their practice. / PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES Another study suggests that standardized training may ensure that health professionals are prepared to promote cannabis use responsibly when it is indicated for medically appropriate symptoms and conditions. But there’s still a lot of catching up to do. Last month, an Israeli survey found that medical students in that country feel unprepared, although they are more supportive of the use of medical cannabis for pain management than their Thai counterparts. The CCOE said in an earlier statement that the study, which was supported by Super Critical Labs, had been approved for human studies by UMass-Dartmouth’s Institutional Review Board. The anonymous survey, which was conducted from 5. May 2021 to 5. May 2022 is available, it will take about 12 minutes to fill out. As principal investigator, Dr. McNabb will work with 15 co-investigators, including researchers, clinicians and veterans with diverse backgrounds, diversity and experience, adds Cannabis Science and Technology. Preliminary results of the study are expected in October and updated results in May next year.
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