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Lesbian and bisexual women's sexual healthcare experiences.
J Clin Nurs. 2016 Dec; 25(23-24):3497-3510.JC

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

To develop insight into the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing sexual health services and an understanding of their needs within the New Zealand context.

BACKGROUND

Lesbian and bisexual women are typically invisible in healthcare settings due to heteronormative assumptions. As lesbian and bisexual women are reluctant to come out to clinicians, opportunities for targeted opportunistic health education are often missed. Lesbian and bisexual women have different needs from both heterosexual women and gay men when seeking healthcare. There has been little exploration of the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing healthcare in the New Zealand context.

DESIGN

Qualitative descriptive design.

METHODS

Participants (n = 6) were recruited via advertisements and snowball sampling. Those recruited lived in a provincial city in New Zealand; self-identified as lesbian or bisexual; and met the inclusion criteria. Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were used to obtain narrative data about participants being recipients of healthcare.

RESULTS

Five themes were identified within the data set: Heteronormativity; The conundrum of safer sex; Implied and overt homophobia; Engagement with health promotion; and Resilience.

CONCLUSION

This study highlighted the difficulties that lesbian and bisexual women face when seeking sexual healthcare, primarily due to clinicians' heteronormative assumptions. Lesbian and bisexual women have found ways of navigating the health system that make them feel safe(r) despite experiencing many adversities such as homophobia.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE

This study's findings can be used to guide further research to identify ways to optimise clinicians' engagement with lesbian and bisexual women. Recognition of diversity and skilful communication are essential to rectify inequities and effectively target health information.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Central Primary Health Organisation, Palmerston North, New Zealand.Massey University School of Nursing, Auckland, New Zealand.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27230496

Citation

Munson, Siân, and Catherine Cook. "Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Sexual Healthcare Experiences." Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 25, no. 23-24, 2016, pp. 3497-3510.
Munson S, Cook C. Lesbian and bisexual women's sexual healthcare experiences. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25(23-24):3497-3510.
Munson, S., & Cook, C. (2016). Lesbian and bisexual women's sexual healthcare experiences. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(23-24), 3497-3510. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13364
Munson S, Cook C. Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Sexual Healthcare Experiences. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25(23-24):3497-3510. PubMed PMID: 27230496.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Lesbian and bisexual women's sexual healthcare experiences. AU - Munson,Siân, AU - Cook,Catherine, Y1 - 2016/05/27/ PY - 2016/04/24/accepted PY - 2016/5/28/pubmed PY - 2017/2/14/medline PY - 2016/5/28/entrez KW - bisexual KW - heteronormativity KW - homophobia KW - lesbian women KW - nursing KW - sexual health KW - sexuality KW - women's health SP - 3497 EP - 3510 JF - Journal of clinical nursing JO - J Clin Nurs VL - 25 IS - 23-24 N2 - AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To develop insight into the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing sexual health services and an understanding of their needs within the New Zealand context. BACKGROUND: Lesbian and bisexual women are typically invisible in healthcare settings due to heteronormative assumptions. As lesbian and bisexual women are reluctant to come out to clinicians, opportunities for targeted opportunistic health education are often missed. Lesbian and bisexual women have different needs from both heterosexual women and gay men when seeking healthcare. There has been little exploration of the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women accessing healthcare in the New Zealand context. DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive design. METHODS: Participants (n = 6) were recruited via advertisements and snowball sampling. Those recruited lived in a provincial city in New Zealand; self-identified as lesbian or bisexual; and met the inclusion criteria. Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were used to obtain narrative data about participants being recipients of healthcare. RESULTS: Five themes were identified within the data set: Heteronormativity; The conundrum of safer sex; Implied and overt homophobia; Engagement with health promotion; and Resilience. CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the difficulties that lesbian and bisexual women face when seeking sexual healthcare, primarily due to clinicians' heteronormative assumptions. Lesbian and bisexual women have found ways of navigating the health system that make them feel safe(r) despite experiencing many adversities such as homophobia. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study's findings can be used to guide further research to identify ways to optimise clinicians' engagement with lesbian and bisexual women. Recognition of diversity and skilful communication are essential to rectify inequities and effectively target health information. SN - 1365-2702 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27230496/Lesbian_and_bisexual_women's_sexual_healthcare_experiences_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13364 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -