Background: While societal acceptance for sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals is increasing, this group continues to face barriers to quality healthcare. Little is known about clinicians' experiences with SGM patients in the oncology setting. To address this, a mixed method survey was administered to members of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group.
Materials and methods: We report results from the open-ended portion of the survey. Four questions asked clinicians to describe experiences with SGM patients, reservations in caring for them, suggestions for improvement in SGM cancer care, and additional comments. Data were analyzed using content analysis and the constant comparison method.
Results: The majority of respondents noted they had no or little familiarity with SGM patients. A minority of respondents noted experience with gay and lesbian patients, but not transgender patients; many who reported experience with transgender patients also noted difficulty navigating the correct use of pronouns. Many respondents also highlighted positive experiences with SGM patients. Suggestions for improvement in SGM cancer care included providing widespread training, attending to unique end-of-life care issues among SGM patients, and engaging in efforts to build trust.
Conclusion: Clinicians have minimal experiences with SGM patients with cancer but desire training. Training the entire workforce may improve trust with, outreach efforts to, and cancer care delivery to the SGM community.
Tamargo, Christina L; Mitchell, Edith P; Wagner, Lynne; Simon, Melissa A; Carlos, Ruth C; Giantonio, Bruce J; Schabath, Matthew B; and Quinn, Gwendolyn P, ""I need more knowledge": Qualitative Analysis of Oncology Providers' Experiences with Sexual and Gender Minority Patients" (2022). Department of Medical Oncology Faculty Papers. Paper 203.
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