Discourse / Discours - An Integrative Review of Nurse Attitudes Towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients

Caroline Dorsen

Abstract


A growing body of literature suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have significant health disparities as compared to heterosexuals. Although the reasons for this are complex and multifactorial, one area of research has examined the real or perceived negative attitudes of health-care providers. This integrative review critically appraises and synthesizes data from 17 articles regarding nurses' attitudes towards LGBT patients. Every study analyzed showed some evidence of negative attitudes. However, the literature revealed major limitations, including a paucity of well-designed studies; a dearth of qualitative studies; inconsistent use of validated, reliable instruments; and a lack of measures examining attitudes towards lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. Increased knowledge in this area could lead to interventions to improve nurses' cultural competency; resource allocation to nursing research, education, and services related to LGBT health; and inclusion of more LGBT content in nursing curricula.

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