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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2018 May;35(5):759-766. doi: 10.1177/1049909117738246. Epub 2017 Nov 9.

Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Regarding the Use of Medical Cannabis in the Hospice Population: An Educational Intervention.

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1 Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Visalia, CA, USA.
2 Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Currently, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use despite its remaining Schedule I federally. Benefits of medical cannabis (MC) have been demonstrated in nausea/vomiting associated with chemotherapy, cachexia associated with HIV/AIDS, and certain types of neuropathic pain. However, it is unclear how comfortable hospice providers are with the concept of MC.


The aim of this study is to determine changes in knowledge, self-perceived skills, and attitudes (KSA) of hospice providers regarding MC after an online educational intervention.


The educational intervention consisted of 3 learning modules covering information from 6 learning domains. Participants took a pre- and postcourse survey to assess changes in KSA. Participant demographics were analyzed using descriptive statistics. To detect any differences between pre- and postsurvey answers, a paired t test was used to reduce intersubject variability.


Attitudes about the importance of cannabis knowledge were overall positive and did not change significantly after the intervention (N = 94). Both self-perceived skills and knowledge increased significantly, with providers reporting more positive skills, and >75% of respondents answering questions correctly after the intervention. There was a significant difference in attitudes in all domains in the postsurvey between participants who have practiced in hospice <3 years or ≥4 years, but no difference in perceived skills or knowledge.


Providers' attitudes regarding the importance of MC knowledge were strong and the same before and after. Both the self-perception of skills and direct knowledge were significantly increased after the educational intervention.


cannabinoid; health-care education; hospice; medical cannabis; medical education; symptom management

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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