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To make your health care services accessible to LGBTI people, remember to:

  • Listen and be supportive. Assure confidentiality

  • Never make assumptions! Ask if you’re not sure

  • Eliminate homophobic and judgmental attitudes

  • If patient seems offended, apologize and ask how you can be more inclusive

  • Recognize non-traditional families, acknowledge the same-sex partner/parent

  • Learn about health care needs of LGBTI people

  • Avoid referral to homophobic health care providers

References:

Allen LB, Glicken AD et al. (1998). Adolescent health care experience of gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults. J Adolesc Health 23(4): 212-220.

Harrison A (1996). Primary care of lesbian and gay patients: educating ourselves and our students. Family Medicine, 28: 10-23.

Jugovic PJ, Baitar R, McAdam LC (2004). Fundamental clinical situations: a practical OSCE study guide. 4th edition. Toronto: Elsevier Canada.

Perrin EC (2002). Sexual orientation in child and adolescent health care. New York: Kluwar Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Perrin, E., & Kulkin, H. (1996). Pediatric care for children whose parents are gay or lesbian. Pediatrics, 97(5), 629-635.

Peterkin AD & Risdon C (2003). Caring for lesbian and gay people: a clinical guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

White J & Levinson W. (1993). Primary care of lesbian patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 8(January): 41-47.

 

For more information, please consult the following resources:

Culturally Competent Care for GLBT People: Recommendations for Health Care Providers, including a sample patient intake form

MedlinePlus: Gay and Lesbian Health

In 1992, the American Medical Association published its Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GAPS) which set standards for the routine discussion of sexual orientation on an annual basis with all adolescents. (American Medical Association, 1992. Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GAPS). Chicago, IL: American Medical Association).

In 1993, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially endorsed the responsibility of pediatric providers to recognize their lesbian and gay patients and to address their special experience and needs (Committee on Adolescence, American Academy of Pediatrics 1993. Homosexuality and adolescence. Pediatrics 92(4): 631-634).