Support Care Cancer. 2021 Jun 26. doi: 10.1007/s00520-021-06383-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Despite advances in supportive care, cancer-related symptoms tend to be persistent regardless of cancer type, stage of disease, or treatment received. There is an increasing prescription for complementary and alternative medicines, such as medical cannabis (MC). Knowledge and attitudes of Italian medical oncologists and palliative care physicians toward medical cannabis in cancer care remain unknown.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the knowledge and attitude toward MC prescription among cancer care professionals in Italy. All invited participants received an email with the electronic questionnaire accessible through a direct link.

RESULTS: Among the 2616 members who received the invitation, 475 replied to the questionnaire and were considered for the survey analysis. The most prescribed formulations among those available in Italy were cannabis FM2. The most frequent clinical indications for the use of MC were pain, gastrointestinal, and mood disorders. Only 9 responders reported MC-related side effects like anxiety insomnia and muscle spasms. The question regarding the normative references for MC prescription and use in Italy had conflicting results: only 14% indicated the exact legislative reference.

CONCLUSION: Our study highlights a significant discrepancy between personal attitudes, prescription levels, and actual knowledge on MC. This represent a critical issue that should be systemically faced, building educational programs and national guidelines that sublimate personal physicians’ beliefs and predispositions, resulting in a robust science-based MC practice. Only through coordinated interventions on science and health policy of MC, there will be success of safety and efficacy, ensuring the best knowledge for the best outcomes.

PMID:34176017 | DOI:10.1007/s00520-021-06383-7

Source: ncbi 2

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