Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: To determine patients’ willingness to accept advice for use of medical cannabis if recommended by a health care practitioner.
Methods: A written survey was created and solicited to patients admitted to a community hospital in suburban Massachusetts. Questions gathered information on patients’ history of cannabis use and knowledge, and opinion on cannabis for managing a medical condition on their own or if recommended by an alternative or licensed health care practitioner. Likert scaling of strongly agree/agree/neutral/disagree/strongly disagree was used for opinion-based questions. Written, IRB approved, informed consent was obtained for all patients.
Results: Twenty patients completed the surveys with an average age of 64.7 years (range 19-90); 55% women; and 90% white, 5% black, 5% middle eastern. Half of the patients had used cannabis in the past, of which 50% used it daily, 10% used it more than 1 day per week, 10% used it more than 1 day per month, and 30% used it more than 1 month per year. Personal recreation was the most commonly stated reason for use (50%), with other reasons including arthritis, pain management, anxiety, nausea, depression, and bipolar disorder. One patient stated that current use was recommended by an alternative practitioner and three patients were recently recommended to use cannabis by a licensed practitioner. Knowledge of potential side effects was limited; 65% of all patients didn’t know of any including 40% of those patients who had used cannabis. A majority (95%) of patients agreed that cannabis should be available for medical use under the guidance of a medical practitioner, while 75% would use it if recommended for them, and only 55% would self-treat a medical condition with cannabis.
Conclusion: Patients want physicians to recommend cannabis as a treatment option and are less inclined to self-medicate. Additional data would be useful to adequately power further statistical analysis.