Patient sexual orientation and gender identity disclosure

Jamieson, Abigail, Cross, Harry, Arthur, Sophie, Nambiar, Kate and Llewellyn, Carrie D (2020) Patient sexual orientation and gender identity disclosure. Clinical Teacher. ISSN 1743-4971

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Abstract

Background
In the UK , 2.3% of men and 1.6% of women identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB ). Of the UK population, 1% are estimated to identify as transgender (T). Of the LGB population, 46% do not disclose their sexual orientation to health care professionals (HCP s) and 18% of transgender patients avoid health care altogether. Non‐disclosure of sexual orientation and/or gender identity contributes to worse health outcomes for LGBT patients.

Objectives
This study aimed to explore medical students’ perceptions of the barriers to health care for LGBT patients and the importance of patient disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Methods
Focus groups included medical students across five year‐groups from a medical school in the South East of England. Discussions followed a pre‐approved topic guide with a primary and co‐facilitator present. Focus groups were audio‐recorded, transcribed verbatim and the data underwent framework analysis.

Results
Forty‐five undergraduate medical students participated (40% of whom were non‐heterosexual). Most participants believed that the incorrect use of pronouns and discrimination would be a cause for non‐disclosure of gender identity and sexual orientation to HCP s. Several participants thought it was more important to know a patient's gender identity than sexual orientation. Many participants felt that collecting sexual orientation information on healthcare registration forms is acceptable.

Discussion
More education regarding LGBT health needs and ways to encourage patient disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity should be included in the undergraduate medical school curricula to increase the competency of future doctors when interacting with LGBT patients.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: medical education, LGBT, sexual orientation, gender identity, curriculum
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Carrie Llewellyn
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 07:11
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/91121

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