Exploring the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of nurses and midwives of the healthcare needs of the LGBTQ population: An integrative review.

Authors: Stewart K, O'Reilly P


Nurse Educ Today. 2017 Jun;53:67-77

OBJECTIVES: To explore current literature surrounding the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of nurses and midwives of the healthcare needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) patients and their influence on equal and non-discriminatory care for LGBTQ individuals.
DESIGN: Systematic integrative review.
REVIEW METHODS: This integrative review used Wakefield's (2014) framework to establish the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of nurses and midwives of the healthcare needs of LGBTQ patients. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods primary studies carried out between 2006 and 2015 from 7 countries were included. Four databases were searched and 98 studies were screened for eligibility by two researchers. Level of evidence was assessed by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN, 2010) criteria and quality was assessed by a screening tool adapted from Noyes and Popay (2007) for qualitative papers and Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies adapted from the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP, 2010). Following PRISMA guidelines, this integrative review analysed and synthesised evidence using thematic analysis to generate themes.
RESULTS: 24 papers were included in the final synthesis which revealed four primary themes: Heteronormativity across Healthcare; Queerphobia; Rainbow of Attitudes; Learning Diversity.
CONCLUSIONS: Nurses and midwives possess a wide spectrum of attitudes, knowledge and beliefs which impact the care received by LGBTQ patients. Many issues of inadequate care appear to be due to a culture of heteronormativity and a lack of education on LGBTQ health. Further research is needed on interventions which could facilitate disclosure of sexual orientation and interrupt heteronormative assumptions by staff. It is recommended that LGBTQ issues be included within undergraduate nursing and midwifery education or as part of continued professional development.



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