Australian Study Examining Quality Of Life For Medical Cannabis Patients

Australian medical cannabis study

Researchers at the University of Sydney are conducting a wide-ranging study concerning quality of life issues for medicinal cannabis patients.

Funded by Australian medicinal cannabis firm Little Green Pharma (LGP), the QUality of life Evaluation STudy (The QUEST Initiative) will delve into related patient outcomes and aims to recruit 2,100 patients by June this year.

The Australian Government is backing the study.

“The QUEST Initiative represents a significant Australian contribution to the global need for reliable, objective and clinically-relevant quality of life data for patients accessing medicinal cannabis treatments for a broad range of chronic conditions,” said Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt.

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The research, being led by Associate Professor Claudia Rutherford, also has the endorsement of various national bodies including MS Research Australia, Chronic Pain Australia, Arthritis Australia and Epilepsy Action Australia.

“What makes our study unique is the comprehensive suite of patient-reported outcomes – or PROs – being assessed in patients prescribed medicinal cannabis,” said Ass. Prof. Rutherford.

Patients eligible to join the study include those with conditions such as chronic pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, insomnia, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy who have been prescribed medical cannabis products. It’s envisioned the study will close in March 2022 and may expand to include patients outside Australia.

Information to be collected and analysed will include patient mobility, functionality, pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression, medication requirements and ongoing health costs. Patient outcomes will be tracked over a period of one year.

At this point, there’s not much further information on participating in the study, so those interested should probably contact the University’s Sydney Quality of Life Office.

The mission of the Sydney Quality of Life Office is to achieve the best possible evidence and optimise the use of patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials and routine care.

The University of Sydney is also home to the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, which is engaged in important cannabis research. For example, last year a study led by the Initiative determined consumption of cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t impair driving ability. It also recently conducted the Cannabis As Medicine Survey (CAMS) 2020 survey.

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