Objective: The purpose of this paper is to describe how health care providers can improve their practice environments to be more welcoming for patients on the spectrum of gender and sexual identity.
Methods: Literature searches were performed in WorldCat, PubMed, and nongovernmental organizations and Gallup polls. The years searched were from 2005 to 2018. Key words used included sexual orientation, transgender, and health care. The PubMed MeSH termed [sic] searched included gender identity and sexuality, both in combination with patient care.
Results: Terminology that patients use to identify their gender may vary. Understanding the terminology that patients use to self-identify is a first step to becoming more sensitive to the needs of gender and sexual minority patients. Minority patients on the spectrum of gender and sexual identity experience discrimination when accessing health care. Therefore, an accepting doctor–patient relationship especially benefits these patients. When communication competency and fluency is established, health care providers provide a more inclusive, accepting environment. Addressing patients based on their preferences and using inclusive forms and patient handouts are some recommendations that are made to create an open, patient-centered environment.
Conclusion: This article provides health care providers with terminology that facilitates communication and the healing environment for sexual and gender minority patients. Understanding and using this may create a more welcoming environment to all patients.
Author keywords: Transgender Persons | Sexuality | Chiropractic
Author affiliations: SDL: Department of Clinical Education, University of Western States, Portland, Oregon, United States; KDB: Department of Basic Sciences, University of Western States, Portland, Oregon, United States
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; available by subscription.