Sufferers utilizing medicinal hashish needs to be screened for adjustments in high quality of life

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The Australian study is expected to include at least 2,100 patients.

Article author:

Angela Stelmakowich

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February 19, 2021 • • 8 hours ago • • 3 minutes read There are two study objectives: track changes in patient-reported results over a year and compare the differences in PROs between patients who have access to medical cannabis under different health conditions. /. Photo by Sofia Zhuravets / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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A far-reaching longitudinal study of thousands of medical cannabis patients in Australia is trying to find a solution to many related problems, ranging from anxiety to healthcare costs.

Researchers from the University of Sydney launched the Quality of Life Assessment Study (QUEST initiative), expected to be completed in March 2022. The study is touted as one of the largest in the world to examine quality of life (QoL) outcomes for patients who use medical cannabis, the university announced this week.

By June this year, the researchers aim to recruit at least 2,100 such patients, who are necessary to achieve statistical relevance, with the potential to expand the study internationally. The study is open to patients with a wide range of chronic diseases and conditions, including chronic pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, insomnia, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.

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In particular, the idea is to evaluate changes in patient conditions and symptoms based on self-reported QoL results, recording and analyzing topics such as patient mobility, functionality, pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression, drug requirements and ongoing healthcare costs.

The study objectives are twofold: track changes in patient reported results (PRO) over a year and compare the differences in PROs between patients who have access to medicinal cannabis under different health conditions.

“What makes our study unique is the comprehensive set of PROs that are assessed in patients who have been prescribed medical cannabis,” says Claudia Rutherford, lead author on the study and associate professor at the university, adding that the QoL studies are limited.

The study emphasizes both health economics and QoL measures as opposed to the effectiveness of medical marijuana on a particular symptom or condition, explains Rutherford. With this approach, researchers “can gain critical insights into a patient’s health over time and better understand whether the introduction of medicinal cannabis will cost-effectively improve a patient’s well-being,” she suggests.

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Funded by Australian medical cannabis maker Little Green Pharma, the company provides technical advice on its products and how to manage them. However, the data acquisition and analysis is done independently.

The study emphasizes both health economics and QoL measures as opposed to the effectiveness of medical marijuana on a particular symptom or condition. /. Photo by Igor Vershinsky / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt says the initiative “represents a significant Australian contribution to the global need for reliable, objective and clinically relevant data on the quality of life of patients who have access to medical cannabis treatments for a wide range of chronic diseases.”

A study published in 2016 examined the long-term effects of using medical cannabis to manage pain in patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain. The results indicated long-term benefits, but added that “the uncontrolled nature of the study should be taken into account when extrapolating the results”.

José Carlos Bouso, clinical psychologist and doctor of pharmacology, states in a blog post that cannabis seems to score best in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in chronic pain. “A study in Spain of the effects of cannabis on HRQoL in a group of women with fibromyalgia found that cannabis improved the mental health component and symptoms related to fibromyalgia when the intensity was assessed immediately before and after cannabis use “wrote Bouso.

In another 2016 study, cited above, he added that cannabis appears to have the most pronounced and most intense effects “on improving social and family relationships, on the functioning of emotional roles, and on improving sleep on satisfaction with the treatment. ”

However, from the perspective of recreational cannabis use, a study published in 2017 found that heavy cannabis use or cannabis use disorder “was associated with a reduced quality of life. It is not known whether a reduced quality of life promotes cannabis use or whether cannabis use can lead to a reduced quality of life ”, the authors of the study emphasized the need for additional prospective research to assess a causal relationship.

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