A new study found that certain factors affect cervical cancer screening among lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men. Some of these factors overlap with the general female population, whereas others are specific to the lesbian, bisexual, or queer identity.
Patients who were screened routinely felt more welcome in the health care setting, while nonroutine screeners reported more discrimination related to their sexual orientation and gender expression. Routine screeners were also more likely to 'out' to their provider.
The findings suggest that minor modifications to the health care environment and forms can promote cancer screening among lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, thus reducing health disparities.
"Our research findings add to the growing body of literature that suggests unwelcoming healthcare environments is a major contributing factors to lack of preventive screening among LGBT people," said Dr. Michael Johnson, lead author of the Journal of Clinical Nursing study. "The healthcare landscape needs to be more affirmative and inclusive for LGBT people, and this can only be achieved if each healthcare professional, especially nurses and providers, educate themselves on how to provide better care to LGBT people."