Tasmanian healthcare professionals' & students' capacity for LGBTI+ inclusive care: a qualitative inquiry
Grant, R and Smith, AJK and Newett, L and Nash, M and Turner, R and Owen, L, Tasmanian healthcare professionals' & students' capacity for LGBTI+ inclusive care: a qualitative inquiry, Health and Social Care in the Community, 29, (4) pp. 957-966. ISSN 0966-0410 (2021) [Refereed Article]
The health disparities and care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) patients are becoming well known. However, healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and medical students across the Global North report limited understanding of this population and express concern about their capacity to meet the needs of LGBTI + patients. To address these gaps in literature and practice, this study draws on qualitative interviews with 12 clinicians and five health professional students exploring their understandings and approaches to LGBTI + inclusive practice in Tasmania, Australia. Through a reflexive thematic analysis, we identified that both practicing clinicians and students did not believe that their training adequately prepared them to treat LGBTI + patients. Other key barriers included reduced awareness of LGBTI + community needs due to the lack of exposure to LGBTI + patients and unfamiliarity with appropriate referral pathways in the regional Tasmanian context. Conversely, factors enabling provision of LGBTI + inclusive care included prior experience working with LGBTI + patients and establishing a network of supportive colleagues and local services. Participants who identified as LGBTI + themselves saw their personal experiences as a strength in supporting LGBTI + patients. While awareness of LGBTI + inclusive health practice is increasing, Tasmanian practitioners report insufficient training and practical difficulties with referral as key challenges.