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This article is the author's published version in Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 13, August 2022, Article number 763348.

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Copyright © 2022 Tamargo, Mitchell, Wagner, Simon, Carlos, Giantonio, Schabath and Quinn.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


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.

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