Cannabis use and mental health-related quality of life among individuals with anxiety disorders

Shaul Lev-Ran, Bernard Le Foll, Kwame McKenzie, Jürgen Rehm
Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2012, 26 (8): 799-810
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in individuals with anxiety disorders. The aim of this study was to assess mental health-related quality of life (QoL) among individuals with anxiety disorders with and without concurrent cannabis use based on a large representative US sample. Mental health-related QoL of regular cannabis users (N = 144), occasional cannabis users (N = 181) and non-users (N = 4427) was assessed using the Short-Form 12-Item Health Survey (SF-12). Among individuals with anxiety disorders, mean SF-12 mental summary scores were significantly lower (indicating a lower QoL) among regular, but not occasional, cannabis users (by 0.8 standard deviations (SDs) and 0.6SD for females and males, respectively) compared to non-users. Adjusting for sociodemographic variables and co-morbid mood disorders, regular, but not occasional, cannabis use was associated with lower mental health summary and subscales scores. Out results highlight the importance of taking into account direct functional and emotional outcomes, as well as frequency of cannabis used, when assessing the impact of cannabis use among individuals with anxiety disorders.


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