Date of Conferral





Health Services


James Rohrer


AbstractAlternatives to traditional office visits have become a necessity with the recent COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in an unmatched surge in telehealth adoption. The present study was an investigation of the impact of telehealth versus traditional office visits in medical cannabis clinics treating patients for chronic pain. With 50,000,000 American adults experiencing pain and over 750,000 overdoses attributed to opioid usage, collecting research-driven evidence to increase the availability of safe, effective, and nonopioid treatment options will create positive social change. The Donabedian model was applied to measure the quality of care, focusing on structure (cannabis clinics), process (telehealth vs. traditional office visits), and outcome (visual analog scale [VAS]). The study utilized a quasi-experimental, retrospective analysis of data using multiple linear regression comparing the impact of telemedicine visits versus traditional office visits on treating five pain types in a medical cannabis clinic during a pandemic. The main finding of this study indicated that telemedicine visits were as effective as traditional office visits in treating pain. However, there was not statistically significant data to suggest that cannabis-derived medicines resulted in improved outcomes in the five pain types studied (general, back, arthritic, cancer, and migraine). Across all pain types and subjects there was an overall decrease in pain from initial visit (7.44) to follow-up visit (6.29) a decrease of 15.4% on the VAS. Expanding healthcare service treatment options that are safe, effective, and accessible in caring for chronic pain will prevent disease, improve health outcomes, and improve quality of care all leading to positive social change.