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Survey: Most Palliative Care Professionals Say They Are Uninformed About Medical Cannabis Issues

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Most physicians specializing in hospice and palliative care believe that they are inadequately prepared to counsel patients about the use of medical cannabis, according to survey data published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Harvard researchers surveyed 123 HPM [hospice and palliative medicine] fellows regarding their familiarity with medical cannabis.

Consistent with prior surveys of healthcare professionals, most respondents (71 percent) said that they were “insufficiently informed” to discuss medical cannabis options with their patients.

Surveys of nurses, pharmacists, clinicians, and other medical professionals have yielded similar findings.

However, in contrast with other surveys, most HPM fellows (65 percent) acknowledged having received some “formal training regarding medical cannabis.”

The study’s authors concluded: “Few [of those surveyed] considered themselves sufficiently informed to make cannabis-related clinical recommendations. These results suggest both a need for expanded high-quality evidence for medical cannabis in palliative care and for improved formal education for HPM fellows.”


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