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

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Abstract

Background:

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.

Objective:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

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