HealthDay News — Factors that are associated with patients’ intention to use marijuana for glaucoma include perceptions of legality of marijuana use and satisfaction with current glaucoma care, according to research published online Dec. 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

David A. Belyea, MD, MBA, from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington D.C., and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional survey of 204 patients with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma (51% women; 40.2% white) to examine intention to use marijuana for treatment. Patients completed a self-administered survey assessing demographics, perceived glaucoma severity, and factors related to marijuana use in glaucoma.

The researchers found that after controlling for demographic variables, disease severity, and previous marijuana use, perceptions of the legality of marijuana use (P<0.001), false beliefs regarding marijuana (P<0.001), satisfaction with current glaucoma care (P<0.001), and relevance of marijuana and glaucoma treatment costs (P=0.04) correlated with intentions to use marijuana for glaucoma treatment.

“This study’s findings suggest a need for more education on this topic for ophthalmologists to be able to protect patients with glaucoma against the increased acceptability among the public of using marijuana based on false perceptions of its therapeutic value in glaucoma therapy,” the authors write.

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