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.