Beliefs and Behavior of Nurses Providing Healthcare to Gay and Lesbian Individuals

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 11:05 AM

Michelle Morgan, DNP
Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project, HonorHealth, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Faye Gary, EdD
School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Cleveland, OH, USA
Marilyn J. Lotas, PhD, MS, MEd, BSN
School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
Melanie Brewer, DNSc, MS, BSN
Center for Nursing Excellence, HonorHealth (formerly Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network), Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Problem statement. The majority of persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) have experienced discrimination or fear discrimination from healthcare personnel and are therefore categorized collectively as a minority population with health disparities (Institute of Medicine, 2011; Healthy People, 2013; Lambda Legal, 2010; Sabin, Riskind, & Nosek, 2015).

Aim.To assess the beliefs and behavior of nurses when providing healthcare services to gay and lesbian individuals using the Gay Affirmative Practice (GAP) scale.

Methods. A convenience sampling of all inpatient registered nurses in a southwest urban and Magnet designated hospital system was conducted utilizing an anonymous Qualtrics survey, that included eleven demographic questions and the Gay Affirmative Practice (GAP) Scale. The Gay Affirmative Practice (GAP) Scale is a thirty-item avlid and reliable tool with a belief and a behavior domain using a five point likert scale. The GAP scale is a reflective tool of how own's beliefs can impact professional behavior. The highest possible GAP score is ond hundred and fifty. Imputations were used only if there was one or two missing data in a variable by imputing the mean. The survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Findings.Respondents were 89% female, 91% Caucasian, 90% heterosexual, and 84% Christian. Average age was 49; 76% had baccalaureate or master’s degrees; 71% had a nursing certification; 86% had friends or family members who are gay or lesbian; and 61% believed a cultural competence course would benefit them professionally. The mean GAP score was 110. Belief scores were higher than behavior scores (63 and 49, respectively, of 75 total in each category), likely representing nurses’ positive beliefs and their requirement for education to increase behavior scores.

Conclusions. Recommendations include development of a valid and reliable assessment tool that has language more reflective of nursing and is inclusive of bisexual and transgender individuals. Replicating the study with diverse nurses throughout the nation. Provide cultural competence courses with definitions of LGBT terminology and how to ask sexual orientation and gender identity questions in an inclusive and optimal manner.