LGBTQ Health Care Initiative

lgbtq-breast-health

The More Than Pink: LGBTQ Breast Health Initiative research project was a three-part mixed methods study conducted by Komen Puget Sound in collaboration with the University of Washington. Between March and May of 2016,  members of the LGBTQ community in Western Washington provided data on their experiences in accessing health care, disclosure of identities to health care providers, and knowledge about breast health. An online survey available in English and Spanish garnered 74 responses, and 17 additional interviews were conducted either in person or over the phone.

Results

The study reached the following conclusions:

  • The LGBTQ community often delays seeking preventative care. Only 45% of the LGBTQ community always schedules preventative care on time. 31% typically delay or never seek preventative care. Eighty-three percent of transgender men, 67% of gender non-conforming people, and 17% of cisgender sexual minority women cited lack of cultural sensitivity as a reason behind why they delay or never seek preventative care
  • Fifty percent of transgender women, 33% of transgender men, 22% of gender non-conforming people, and 17% of cisgender sexual minority women reported uncertainty about screening guidelines as the primary reason they delay or never seek preventative care
  • The LGBTQ community needs more education on breast health that is inclusive of all genders.

These findings will inform the creation of an LGBTQ breast health toolkit to supplement existing training for health care providers and to increase outreach to the LGBTQ community. Increasing provider knowledge about the LGBTQ community will help bridge trust between the community and the health care system and increase the rate at which  the LGBTQ community will access preventative care such as mammography.

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