Understanding health disparities among LGBTQ populations and future needs

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Commentary on: Haviland KS, Swette S, Kelechi T, et al. Barriers and facilitators to cancer screening among LGBTQ individuals with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2020;47(1):44–55. doi:10.1188/20.ONF.44-55

Implications for practice and research

  • Nurses have the potential to improve cancer screening among LGBTQ populations, thus addressing healthcare disparities with competency training, better communication and providing a non-judgemental welcoming environment.

  • LGBTQ-focused research, improved funding and national screening guidelines for cancer screening are needed to address existing healthcare disparities.

Context

In the USA, the 2017 Gallup poll results show 11 million Americans or 4.5% of population identify themselves as LGBTQ1 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer). Significant health disparities like cancer screening are reported to be higher with LGBTQ when compared with heterosexual individuals. Lack of data collection regarding sexual orientation or gender identification (SOGI) by the National Cancer Databases or Centers for Disease Control augments the existing disparity in screening for cancers and makes …

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