LGBTQ Youth’s Perceptions of Primary Care

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Abstract

Despite published guidelines on the need to provide comprehensive care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) youth, there has been limited research related to the deliverance of primary health care to this population. The goals of this study were to learn about LGBTQ youth’s experiences with their primary care physicians and to identify areas for improvement. Youth attending 1 of 5 community-based programs completed a written questionnaire and participated in a focus group discussion regarding experiences at primary care visits, including topics discussed, counselling received, and physician communication. Most of the youth did not feel their health care needs were well met. The majority acknowledged poor patient-provider communication, disrespect, and lack of discussions about important topics such as sexual and emotional health. Participants cited concerns about confidentiality and inappropriate comments as barriers to care. Youth expressed a strong desire to have physicians be more aware of their needs and concerns.

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