Attitudes and beliefs of medicine and social work students about medical cannabis use for epilepsy

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Abstract

The current study sought: (i) to explore whether health profession students possess formal medical cannabis (MC) education, feel prepared to answer questions about MC, and perceive it as an effective therapy for epilepsy; (ii) to assess students’ attitudes and beliefs about MC use; and (iii) to explore the associations between students’ background characteristics, MC-related attitudes and beliefs regarding its effectiveness for epilepsy. A sample of 310 students (141 from medicine and 169 from social work) voluntarily participated in the anonymous online survey. The vast majority (92.5%) indicated they had no formal education about MC, and only 11.2 % reported being prepared to answer clients’ MC-related questions. Participants reported favorable beliefs about MC benefits, the need for training, and recreational marijuana use legalization. Less supportive attitudes were reported regarding MC risks. Prior cannabis use (e.g., self-use, friends, or family) and individuals from a secular background were associated with more positive beliefs about MC benefits and its legalization for recreational purposes. Prior recreational cannabis use [OR=1.541] and having friends who recreationally use the substance [OR=1.891] were associated with the belief that MC is an effective therapy for epilepsy. These findings indicate an urgent need for students’ MC education to provide future physicians and social workers with MC-related capacities. Development of curricula and training programs in Israel are encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108522
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Medical cannabis education
  • Medicine students
  • Social work students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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