Factors Associated with Demand for Medical Cannabis Use among Breast Cancer Patients in Northern Thailand: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Adult and Gerontological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University, Thailand.

2 Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Roi Et Rajabhat University, Roi Et, Thailand.

3 Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Srinakharinwirot University, Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.

4 Faculty of Public Health, Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University under the Royal Patronage, Pathum Thani, Thailand.


Objective: Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women worldwide. Although modern treatments are recognized as effective, they often cause side effects. In Thailand, medical cannabis (MC) was legalized in 2019 with limited research on demand for its use. Therefore, this study aimed to identify factors associated with demand for MC among breast cancer patients in the North of Thailand as a target group. Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study administered multistage random sampling to recruit 432 breast cancer patients in northern Thailand. Ethical approval and signed written informed consents were obtained from the patients, prior to the study. A standardized, self-administered structured questionnaire was used to obtain the sociodemographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, social support, attitudes toward MC, knowledge about MC, health literacy about MC, and questions on demand for MC use. The scores from all questionnaires were converted to percentages before analysis. Result: A total of 173 (40%) of patients with breast cancer reported demand to use MC. The factors that were significantly associated with demand to use MC included had high levels of health literacy about MC (adj.OR = 4.96; 95% CI: 2.77 to 8.87), higher levels of social support (adj.OR =4.56; 95% CI: 2.20 to 9.42), higher monthly household income (adj.OR =4.02; 95% CI: 2.33 to 6.94), and positive attitudes toward MC use (adj.OR = 3.52; 95% CI: 1.91 to 6.52) when controlling for effects of other covariates. Conclusion: We found substantial demand for MC use among breast cancer patients. Health literacy, social support, monthly household income, and attitudes about MC were significantly associated with demand for MC use. Therefore, improving health literacy, social support, and attitudes about MC, especially among breast cancer patients, could help increase demand for MC as a complementary and alternative medicine alongside cancer treatment.


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