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BMC Med Educ. 2015 Mar 19;15:52. doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0335-0.

Cannabis in medicine: a national educational needs assessment among Canadian physicians.

Author information

1
Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Center Research Institute; Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, A5.140 Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1A4, Canada. Daniel.ziemianski@muhc.mcgill.ca.
2
Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. rielle@telus.net.
3
Community Programs, Urban Care Health Group, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. rory@urbancarehealth.com.
4
Département des sciences de la santé, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec, Canada. Anais.Lacasse@uqat.ca.
5
Continuing Health Professional Education, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada. francesca.luconi@mcgill.ca.
6
Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Center Research Institute; Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, A5.140 Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1A4, Canada. mark.ware@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is increasing global awareness and interest in the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP). It is clear that health care professionals need to be involved in these decisions, but often lack the education needed to engage in informed discussions with patients. This study was conducted to determine the educational needs of Canadian physicians regarding CTP.

METHODS:

A national needs assessment survey was developed based on previous survey tools. The survey was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute and was provided online using LimeSurvey®. Several national physician organizations and medical education organizations informed their members of the survey. The target audience was Canadian physicians. We sought to identify and rank using 5-point Likert scales the most common factors involved in decision making about using CTP in the following categories: knowledge, experience, attitudes, and barriers. Preferred educational approaches and physician demographics were collected. Gap analysis was conducted to determine the magnitude and importance of differences between perceived and desired knowledge on all decision factors.

RESULTS:

Four hundred and twenty six responses were received, and physician responses were distributed across Canada consistent with national physician distribution. The most desired knowledge concerned "potential risks of using CTP" and "safety, warning signs and precautions for patients using CTP". The largest gap between perceived current and desired knowledge levels was "dosing" and "the development of treatment plans".

CONCLUSIONS:

We have identified several key educational needs among Canadian physicians regarding CTP. These data can be used to develop resources and educational programs to support clinicians in this area, as well as to guide further research to inform these gaps.

PMID:
25888752
PMCID:
PMC4374299
DOI:
10.1186/s12909-015-0335-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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