Stakeholders’ Decisions and Preferences for the Provision and Use of Medicinal Cannabis: A Scoping Review

Background: The aim of this scoping review was to examine the extent that stakeholder’s decisions about and preferences for the provision and use of medicinal cannabis (MC) had been investigated. We sought to identify which populations were examined, the methods used for eliciting preferences and exploring decisions, and the reported outcomes of studies. Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, BSC and PsycINFO) and the reference lists of relevant articles were searched for studies published up to March 2022. Studies were included if stakeholder preferences for MC were (1) the primary focus of the research, or (2) an aspect of a larger preference focus. Studies that (3) described the decisions to use MC were also included. Results: Thirteen studies were reviewed. The population focus of these was primarily patient, with seven studies focused on general patient populations and five studies targeting specific patient populations such as cancer survivors, and people experiencing depression. Methods included health economics preference methods, qualitative interviews, and a single multicriteria decision-making study. Four categories of outcomes were defined and included comparisons of MC with a therapeutic alternative (n=5), preferences for MC attributes (n=5), administration preferences (n=4), and the decision process of users (n=2). Motivation differences in preference were found. Purely medicinal users and novice users place more importance on cannabidiol (CBD) than tetrahydrocannabinol. Overall, inhalation methods of administration were preferred due to quick onset of symptom relief. Price was the greatest influence on choice for recreational/medicinal users, whereas purely medicinal users were less price sensitive for products with higher CBD content. Conclusion: Studies examining public preferences for the provision and use of MC were absent. Revealed preference methods are a useful technique for understanding preferences for characteristics that are difficult to visibly assess such as cannabinoid or strain. The outcomes of symptom-specific multicriteria decision method studies that compare the benefit-safety profiles of commonly used treatments and MC may be a useful decision support tool for health practitioners. Studies with representative samples are needed to understand the impact of age, gender, and race on preferences for MC.


Keywords:

decision making; medicinal cannabis; preferences; review.

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