Nicole Andersen is recognized by the Canadian Rheumatology Association for work investigating cannabis use in inflammatory arthritis

Nicole Andersen, a trainee at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and doctoral candidate in the Department of Counselling Psychology at McGill University, won the Best Abstract by a Rheumatology Post-Graduate Research Trainee award at the 2023 Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) Annual Scientific Meeting, held last month in Quebec City.

Andersen’s winning abstract was titled “Cannabis use in arthritis: characteristics and comparisons between users and non-users.” As she explains, “Our study compared disease and psychosocial characteristics – such as health status, pain and fatigue – in users and non-users who completed an online survey on health-seeking behaviours. We found that people with arthritis who used cannabis had more pain, fatigue, stress and depression, and worse overall health. It’s unclear whether cannabis users were using because they had worse symptoms, or if using cannabis made their symptoms worse. Regardless, what was clear is that cannabis users were generally worse off.”

Andersen’s co-supervisors are RI-MUHC researchers Deborah Da Costa, PhD, a scientist in the Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program who conducts research at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, and Annett Korner, PhD, a member of the Cancer Research Program.

Learn more about the award recipients at the 2023 CRA meeting.