Cancer patients’ use of and attitudes towards medicinal cannabis.
Aust Health Rev. 2020 Jan 21;:
Authors: Drosdowsky A, Blaschke S, Koproski T, Fullerton S, Thackerar A, Ellen S, Phipps-Nelson J, de Neef C
ObjectivesAccess to medicinal cannabis is a timely and important issue in cancer care. Recent legislative changes in Australia have increased access to medicinal cannabis, but the views of people with cancer on this topic are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of the use of and attitudes towards medicinal cannabis among people with cancer.MethodsA cross-sectional study was performed using an anonymous, 15-item study-specific paper-based survey. The survey was administered over a 2-week period in August 2017 in the waiting rooms of a specialist cancer hospital.ResultsIn all, 339 patients completed the survey (mean (±s.d.) age 59±15 years; 52% male). Fourteen respondents (4%) were currently using cannabis medicinally. Only one of these respondents had a prescription for their cannabis product. Most respondents would consider using a medicinal cannabis product if recommended by their doctor (n=271; 80%).ConclusionThis study is the first of its kind to survey the use of and attitudes towards medicinal cannabis in a broad sample of Australian people with cancer. Few respondents were currently using cannabis for medicinal purposes, but an overwhelming majority were in favour of increasing access and would consider using a prescribed product.What is known about the topic?Cannabis may have a wide variety of medicinal uses, particularly in the cancer setting. Currently, people with cancer in Victoria have limited access to medicinal cannabis despite recent legislative changes.What does this paper add?In a general sample of people with cancer, few were using cannabis for medicinal purposes, but most were in favour of widening access and would consider using a product their doctor prescribed.What are the implications for practitioners?Despite supporting access, patients indicated that the recommendations of doctors and increasing the evidence base are necessary requirements to their use of medicinal cannabis.
PMID: 31959279 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2