Background: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. and its use is becoming more popular with the legalization of medical marijuana. Currently, 36/50 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. These changes have allowed for more cannabis-related research to be conducted. It is unknown how health professional education programs such as physical therapy and athletic training have integrated cannabis-related curriculum into their students’ training. This study aimed to identify how physical therapy and athletic training education programs are approaching teaching students about cannabis-related topics. Methods: There were 111 individuals from 40 states who responded to the survey (Males=53; Female=58), including 88 athletic training and 23 physical therapy faculty. Methods: An email was sent to all program directors of athletic training and physical therapy programs in the US with a Qualtrics survey link for faculty to complete. The 23-item questionnaire included closed-ended questions on demographics, where they sought cannabis-related information, and whether program curriculum includes cannabis-related topics. Frequencies were computed for sources of cannabis-related information and whether program curriculum includes cannabis-related topics. Results: Sixty (53.5%) participants stated they have not received information or completed any training related to cannabis. Of those receiving information or completing training (n=51), the most common sources of information were live lectures (n=23), peer-reviewed manuscripts (n=24), and social media/news (n=21). Also, 43 (38%) participants noted teaching cannabis-related topics in their curriculum. However, 33 participants reported either not completing training related to cannabis or being self-educated through the current literature. Conclusions: These results suggest program faculty may benefit from formal cannabis education in an effort to adequately integrate the content into curriculums.

Author Bio(s)

Shannon David, Phd, AT, PES, is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in the Master of Athletic Training Program at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.

Jeff Konin, PhD, ATC, PT, FACSM, FNATA, currently serves as Clinical Professor and the Director of the Doctor of Athletic Training program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

James W. Farris is the Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Arkansas University.




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