Master's Project Title:

Serving LGBTQ Populations: Best Practices for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care

MCH Student:

Jessica Ernst

Date of Defense:

September 6, 2013


Context: People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender  experience some of the worst health care inequalities and health outcomes. Though  sexual and gender minority visibility has increased over the past few years, research on  their sexual and reproductive health remains vague. This literature review looks at current  research on sexual and reproductive health for sexual and gender minorities and analyzes  recommendations for improving care and eliminating disparities.

Methods: Articles were acquired from February through May 2013 using PubMed,  GenderWatch and CINAHL databases. Articles were additionally gathered from Family  Tree Clinic and through gray literature searches of organizations that focus on sexual and  gender minority health care. Sexual and reproductive health services included were STI  testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and prevention, access to birth control, and  preventative exams. The body of literature was at high risk for bias and included weak  evidence to support recommendations.

Results: Twenty-two articles were identified and analyzed for health care  recommendations. Recommendations were divided into seven areas of improvement:  Provider Education and Training, Cultural Competence, Implementation of Services,  Data Collection, Accountability, Policy and Other Recommendations.

Conclusion: Research on sexual and gender minorities is confounded by difficulties in  quantifying fluid sexual and gender identities and data collection processes. While more  research is needed on sexual and gender minority sexual and reproductive health,  methods for data collection must also improve. Developing provider training and holding  providers accountable for neglecting sexual and gender minority patients can still  positively influence health care for minority patients.