A decline in patient disclosure of heterosexuality in the English general practice patient survey: a longitudinal analysis of cross-sectional data

Cross, Harry and Llewellyn, Carrie D (2020) A decline in patient disclosure of heterosexuality in the English general practice patient survey: a longitudinal analysis of cross-sectional data. Family Practice. ISSN 0263-2136

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Abstract

Background: Persistent health inequalities in relation to both healthcare experiences and health outcomes continue to exist among patients identifying with a marginalised sexual orientation.
Objective: To compare the patterns of sexual orientation disclosure within primary care in England over a five-year period.
Methods: Descriptive analysis of cross-sectional, repeat measure, fully anonymised survey data of adults responding to the General Practice Patient Survey (GPPS) January 2012 to 2017. Participants from each year varied between 808,332 (2017) and 1,037,946 (2011/2012).
Results. The analysis samples comprised between 396963 and 770091 individuals with valid sexual orientation data depending on the year. For males, heterosexual disclosure decreased consistently from 92.3% to 91.2% from 2012 to 2017. Male patients reporting gay, bisexual and/or ‘other’ sexual orientations increased from 3.1% to 3.9%. For females, a larger reduction in heterosexual disclosure was recorded from 94% to 92.5%. Those reporting as lesbian, bisexual and/or ‘other’ increased from 1.82% to 2.68%, with the largest increase seen in the reporting of bisexuality, which nearly doubled from 2012 until 2017 (0.56% to 0.99%).
Conclusion. We found a year on year decline in patients reporting a heterosexual identity and an increase in the proportions of people reporting being either gay, bisexual, ‘other sexual orientation’ or preferring not to say. Heteronormative environments extend to healthcare settings, which may put increased stress on MSO individuals attending a GP practice. The introduction of environmental signs/symbols to show that a practice is inclusive of MSOs could reduce the potential stress experienced by patients.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Disclosure, General Practice Patient Survey, LGB, primary care, sexual identity, sexual orientation
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences
R Medicine
Depositing User: Carrie Llewellyn
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 06:54
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 07:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/91122

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