LGBTQ youth appear to have a greater risk for adverse risk outcomes such as HIV and STDs, substance use, depression, and suicide. The authors were interested in learning about the experiences of LGBTQ youth with healthcare providers and healthcare services.
They collected data by placing a survey on Youth Guardian Services, a youth-run non-profit organization that provides support services on the Internet to LGBTQ and straight supportive youth, and it was available for completing by visitors to the site. The survey covered topics about preferences regarding healthcare providers, healthcare settings and the health issues that they consider important to discuss with a healthcare provider.
Results showed that interpersonal skills and how healthcare providers interact with patients were more important to youth than the providers’ specific competencies. Results also showed that LGBTQ youth ranked gender and sexual orientation of the provider among the lowest in importance, implying that these youth do not necessarily need to be served only by LGBTQ healthcare providers.
LGBTQ youth considered preventative healthcare, nutrition, family issues and safe sex as important health concerns and needs. This emphasizes the importance for providers to not only address health risks, but to also stress wellness, health promotion, and psychosocial issues facing LGBTQ in the context of home and family when serving LGBTQ youth.
Hoffman, N.D., Freeman, K., & Swann, S. (2009). Health preference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Journal of Adolescent Health. 45. p. 222-229.