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PLoS One. 2019 May 6;14(5):e0216556. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216556. eCollection 2019.

Health professional beliefs, knowledge, and concerns surrounding medicinal cannabis - A systematic review.

Author information

1
Discipline of Pharmacy, School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
2
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The number of jurisdictions allowing access to medicinal cannabis has been steadily increasing since the state of California introduced legislation in 1996. Although there is a high degree of legislative heterogeneity across jurisdictions, the involvement of a health professional is common among all. This places health professionals at the forefront of therapy, yet no systematic review of literature has offered insight into the beliefs, knowledge, and concerns of health professionals regarding medicinal cannabis.

METHODS:

Using a predetermined study protocol, PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Scopus databases were searched for studies indexed up to the 1st August 2018. Pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied uniformly. Screening for relevancy, full-text review, data extraction, and risk of bias were completed by two independent investigators. Risk of bias was assessed using CASP criteria (qualitative) and a modified domain-based risk assessment tool (quantitative).

RESULTS:

Of the 15,775 studies retrieved, 106 underwent full-text review and of these, 26 were included. The overall risk of bias was considered low across all included studies. The general impression was that health professionals supported the use of medicinal cannabis in practice; however, there was a unanimous lack of self-perceived knowledge surrounding all aspects of medicinal cannabis. Health professionals also voiced concern regarding direct patient harms and indirect societal harms.

CONCLUSION:

This systematic review has offered a lens through which to view the existing literature surrounding the beliefs, knowledge, and concerns of health professionals regarding medicinal cannabis. These results are limited, however, by the implicit common-sense models of behaviour utilised by the included studies. Before strategies can be developed and implemented to change health professional behaviour, a more thorough understanding of the factors that underpin the delivery of medicinal cannabis is necessary.

PMID:
31059531
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0216556
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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