Rheumatologists lack confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoids pertaining to the management of rheumatic complaints

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Title: Rheumatologists lack confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoids pertaining to the management of rheumatic complaints
Authors: Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann
Ste-Marie, Peter A
Clauw, Daniel J
Jamal, Shahin
Karsh, Jacob
LeClercq, Sharon
McDougall, Jason J
Shir, Yoram
Shojania, Kam
Walsh, Zach
Date: 2014-07-30
Abstract: Abstract Background Arthritis pain is reported as one of the most common reasons for persons using medical herbal cannabis in North America. “Severe arthritis” is the condition justifying legal use of cannabis in over half of all authorizations in Canada, where cannabis remains a controlled substance. As champions for the care of persons with arthritis, rheumatologists must be knowledgeable of treatment modalities both traditional and non-traditional, used by their patients. As study of cannabinoid molecules in medicine is recent, we have examined the confidence in the knowledge of cannabinoids expressed by Canadian rheumatologists. Methods The confidence of rheumatologists in their knowledge of cannabinoid molecules and mechanisms relevant to rheumatology, and their ability to advise patients about cannabinoid treatments was recorded by an online questionnaire circulated via email to the entire Canadian Rheumatology Association membership. Results Over three quarters of the 128 respondents lacked confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoid molecules. While 45% of respondents believed there was no current role for cannabinoids in rheumatology patient care, only 25% supported any use of herbal cannabis. With 70% never having previously prescribed or recommended any cannabinoid treatment, uncertainty regarding good prescribing practices was prevalent. Concerns about risks of cannabis use were in line with the current literature. Conclusions Rheumatologists lacked confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoid molecules in general and in their competence to prescribe any cannabinoid for rheumatic complaints. In line with this uncertainty, there is reticence to prescribe cannabinoid preparations for rheumatology patients. Guidance is required to inform rheumatologists on the evidence regarding cannabinoids.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2474-15-258
http://hdl.handle.net/10393/33637
CollectionLibre accès - Publications // Open Access - Publications
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