Characterizing Sexual Orientation Disclosure to Health Care Providers: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Perspectives

Maria K. Venetis, Beth E. Meyerson, L. Brooke Friley, Anthony Gillespie, Anita Ohmit, Cleveland G. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients’ disclosure patterns of sexual orientation to health care providers. Using a semistructured interview format, researchers conducted interviews with 24 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) adults about sexual orientation disclosure strategies. All interviews were transcribed and independently coded using thematic analysis. Results suggest that patient sexual orientation disclosure may be patient initiated and may occur to clarify or correct provider misinformation. Participants disclosed their orientation early in the medical visit during introductions, during small talk with the provider, and during the history-taking phase of the visit. Participants characterized sexual orientation disclosures as presented with minimal information, casually, and often indirectly. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-586
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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