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COJ Nursing & Healthcare

Using Twitter to Identify Patient Education Topics for Using Medical Marijuana for Cancer Pain Management

Submission: July 18, 2019; Published: August 02, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/COJNH.2019.05.000610

ISSN: 2577-2007
Volume5 Issue2


Background: The topic of using medical marijuana (MMJ) in cancer pain management is controversial. The rate of MMJ use has been increasing, which implies that there is an increasing need for patient education.

Objective: To explore the potential patient education needs regarding the use of medical marijuana in cancer pain management from Twitter tweets.

Methods: Retrieved Twitter tweets were analyzed by using the Latent Dirichlet Allocation approach and a manual review to determine the themes embedded in the tweets.

Result: Four topic domains were identified from 1217 unique tweets: medical marijuana treatment, advertisement of medical marijuana, news related to medical marijuana, and advocacy of using medical marijuana.

Conclusion: According to the findings, healthcare providers who counsel patients regarding the use of MMJ in cancer pain management should be prepared to include these topics: research evidence related to the outcome of using MMJ, potential benefit and risk of using MMJ, types of symptoms that can be alleviated by MMJ, and recommendations regarding medical marijuana sources.

Keywords: Twitter; Tweet; Medical marijuana; Social media; Cannabinoids; Cancer pain; Patient education

Abbreviations: CBD: Cannabidiol; LDA: Latent Dirichlet Allocation; MMJ: Medical Marijuana

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