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The Attitudes and Beliefs of Family Physicians Regarding the Use of Medical Cannabis, Knowledge of Side Effects, and Barriers to Use: A Comparison Between Residents and Specialists.

Am J Ther. 2020 Dec 29;Publish Ahead of Print:

Authors: Abo Ziad R, Grynbaum MB, Peleg R, Treister-Goltzman Y

BACKGROUND: Israel has a regulated system with clearly defined indications for treatment with medical cannabis.
STUDY QUESTION: The main question was whether family physicians in southern Israel face barriers/knowledge gaps in prescribing cannabis for medical indications. The secondary question was whether there was a difference between residents and specialists in family medicine.
STUDY DESIGN: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study.
MEASURES AND OUTCOMES: Attitudes of the participating physicians on the use of medical cannabis; comparison of attitudes of specialists in family medicine and residents on the use of medical cannabis.
RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-two family physicians participated in the study including 48 residents. More than 78% supported the use of medical cannabis and about 63% supported it’s legalization. About 84% of the physicians believed that medical cannabis helped cancer patients and 82% believed it helped in the chronic pain. Only 28.3% believed that family physicians should recommend the use of medical cannabis. The physicians were well aware of the psychiatric (82%) and the neurological (78%) adverse effects of medical cannabis. Most (68%) were not willing to prescribe medical cannabis. No socio-demographic characteristic was associated with willingness to prescribe cannabis. About 95% of the physicians believed that the main barrier to recommending treatment was its potential for abuse, 66% percent-the danger that it would leak to the general public. About 60% of the specialists were not prepared to undergoing training in the prescription of medical cannabis compared with 31% of the residents (P = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: Family physicians are concerned about recommending medical cannabis. It is encouraging that residents are motivated to undergo training to prescribe medical cannabis. There remain medical indications and adverse effects that family physicians are less aware of. Further studies should focus on effective ways to improve the level of physicians’ knowledge on the issue.

PMID: 33416237 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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