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Canada’s Ketamine Association Releases Recommendations for Practice Standards

Guideline for Safe and Accessible Treatment


Background on KATA Canada

The Ketamine Assisted Therapy Association of Canada (KATA) is an interdisciplinary, not-for-profit organization established in 2019 that supports practitioners and physicians to provide ketamine assisted therapy (KAT), and is informed by evidence-based safety and ethics standards while respecting patient values. KATA advances ketamine clinical practice, and protects the public interest through conducting research, as well as publishes clinical resources, practitioner education and policy recommendations.


Why the Need for Recommendations?

In 2021, KATA published Outpatient Use of Ketamine for Mental Health Conditions – Practice Standards Recommendations to facilitate physicians, prescribers, and more broadly health-care professionals in providing ketamine treatment in a safe and effective manner. The Recommendations clarify that non-intravenous routes of ketamine can be safely done in community settings without the need for extensive monitoring and provide a framework for how to do so. 

“There is a growing body of research showing that Ketamine-Assisted Therapy is an effective new treatment for certain mental health conditions. We are proud to be releasing our Recommendations and hope they will support improved safety and access to this therapy.” – Dr. Neil Hanon, Psychiatrist, Kelowna General Hospital and University of British Columbia, KATA Canada Board Member


What’s in the Recommendations?

KATA’s 35 pages of Recommendations were written collaboratively by an interdisciplinary team after a literature review of 53 key articles, hospital protocols, existing practice guidelines and additional data from outpatient practices and was reviewed by a panel of peers. They contain specific and practical evidence-based recommendations that uphold a standard of safety and support policies that don’t unduly prohibit access to this life-saving treatment. It includes sections on: Patient Care and Monitoring, Staffing and Session Requirements, Prescriber Competencies and Training, and Informed Consent. The practice recommendations will continue to evolve as new research and clinical data emerges. 


What is the hope for these Recommendations?

The hope is that KATA’s Recommendations will serve as a guide to regulators for both creating new standards and for revising existing prohibitive regulations. KATA recognizes the duty of the provincial medical colleges to serve and protect the public, and believes they can continue this crucial role without creating overly restrictive standards.