Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are a new cultural group in healthcare settings that has unique physical, social, and psychological needs as compared to the typical adolescent or the LGBTQ adult population. A majority of the literature in medicine and nursing focuses on the LGBTQ adult, demonstrating a gap in literature on the needs and desires of the LGBTQ adolescent. In order to better understand the needs of LGBTQ adolescents in healthcare settings, descriptive studies are needed. The purpose of this study was to explore the healthcare experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents, with a focus on their perceived cultural disparities in the healthcare setting.
The study was approved by a university IRB board, and all participants signed consent and media release for audio recordings. This qualitative study was conducted using focus groups on a private university campus. Participants were recruited across campus with dissemination of flyers seeking voluntary participants. The principal investigator conducted focus groups of three to five participants. Each focus group met for one session lasting one to one and half hours. Each session was audio recorded and then transcribed with digital transcription software. The principle investigator completed a read back for accuracy of transcription. The principal investigator conducted the focus groups and conducted a short debrief session with participants after data collection was complete. Data analysis will be completed with NVivo software for themes identification.
This study in currently in the data analysis phase and is not complete. Preliminary data analysis has revealed themes of education for providers related to LGBTQ lifestyle, heteronormative environments in healthcare settings, assumption of lifestyle by healthcare providers, and lack of privacy and confidentiality provided. Results are to be explored further and in-depth analysis in the next month.
Preliminary findings indicate that LGBTQ adolescents recognize their healthcare providers have inconsistent education about LGBTQ culture and how it impacts health. The participants verbalized a need for standardized preparation of healthcare providers to better equip them for personalized healthcare with LGBTQ adolescents. IN addition, the participants verbalized a concern for the assumption of heteronormative status. Assumption of heteronormativity decreased the participants desire to disclose and seek information from their providers. Further analysis will be completed.