Outcomes of LGBTQ culturally sensitive training among civilian and military healthcare personnel.

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Journal of Public Health


Background Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) military servicemembers are at higher risk of developing health problems compared to heterosexual peers. To improve outcomes and address negative attitudes, previous literature has recommended education of healthcare personnel. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the knowledge and skill outcomes of an LGBTQ cultural sensitivity training program. Methods We used a pretest/posttest design. Participants completed the Ally Identity Measure (AIM) to assess three subscales: knowledge and skills, openness and support, and oppression awareness. Participants included both military and civilian healthcare personnel from multiple disciplines. Descriptive statistics and pairwise analyses were used. Results A total of 101 participants answered both pretest and posttest. Across all AIM subscales, posttest scores demonstrated statistically significant (P < 0.001) increases from mean pretest scores. Completion rates for the pretest and posttest were 99% and 93%, respectively. The majority of participants were female (75%) and non-Hispanic (87%), composed of Caucasians (39%) and Asians (33%). Over one-third (39%) of participants were aged 30–39. Fifty percent were active-duty military and more than half (58%) of all participants did not have prior training in LGBTQ patient care. Statistically significant differences were found between the pretest and posttest scores for the knowledge and skills subscale (M = 2.64–3.70). The most significant increases were observed in Item 12 and Item 15 (M = 2.72–3.70) regarding awareness of theories and skill development to provide proper support, respectively. Conclusion These significant findings contribute to the currently limited research exploring LGBTQ cultural sensitivity training in both civilian and military settings. To our knowledge, this is the first time a cultural sensitivity training of this depth has been provided to active-duty servicemembers. Further research and development of similar educational programs integrating interactive participation can potentially aid in the delivery of improved care and military readiness for all servicemembers.

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Oxford University Press / USA