Are Patients Who Trust Their Providers More Likely to Use Medical Cannabis?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American journal of hospice & palliative care




cannabis; interpersonal relationships; marijuana; patient-provider relationship; physician-patient communication; trust in physician


Trust is an essential element of the patient-provider relationship and has been associated with better patient outcomes; however, it is not clear what role trust might play in influencing patients' willingness to try medical cannabis when it is recommended in states where it has been legalized for medical use. To explore the relationship between peoples' trust in their health care clinicians and hospitals and their willingness to consider using medical cannabis if it is recommended by their clinician or hospital. We conducted an anonymous, cross-sectional, online survey of adults who participated in the Qualtrics Research Company Panel and used quotas to match our sample to the characteristics of the U.S. population. We received 1120 completed surveys. The vast majority of respondents (84.4%) reported having a regular provider and 42.5% of those who reported having a regular physician and nearly 35.6% of those who reported having another regular provider (e.g., nurse practitioner, physician assistant) reported that they "completely" trusted that clinician. Those who reported "completely" trusting their usual clinician were more than twice as likely to report they would definitely use medical cannabis if recommended (42.5% vs 20.6%). Similarly, the greater respondents' trust in hospitals, the more likely they were to report a willingness to consider using recommended medical cannabis. Patient trust in their health providers is related to patients' willingness to use recommended medical cannabis.


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