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Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients.
J Clin Nurs. 2016 Dec; 25(23-24):3716-3727.JC

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

To explore nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients.

BACKGROUND

Literature suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals have significant health disparities compared to heterosexuals. Although the reasons are multifactorial, research suggests that attitudes of healthcare providers (HCPs) may be a contributing factor in both accessing and receiving care. There is currently no literature exploring the attitudes of the approximately 300,000 nurse-practitioners in the United States. Thus, nurse-practitioners strengths and challenges in providing care to sexual minorities are unknown.

DESIGN

As part of a larger study, Corbin & Strauss' grounded theory methodology was used to explore the attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual patients among primary care nurse-practitioners in NYC.

METHODS

Data were collected via individual semi-structured interviews with nurse-practitioners currently in practice in primary or outpatient care in NYC (n = 19). Data were evaluated using the three-step constant comparison method.

RESULTS

Nurse-practitioners in this study had varied, often overlapping and sometimes conflicting, attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. The main theme identified was 'open arms, conflicted hearts' with three major subthemes - feeling at home, struggling to maintain professionalism and finding comfort under the umbrella of diversity.

CONCLUSIONS

Nurse-practitioner participants in this study had varied attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, ranging from open, confident and comfortable to ambivalent, cautious and unsure about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients generally and specifically regarding the health needs of this population.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE

This study highlights the inadequate didactic and clinical preparation most nurse-practitioners feel they have to care for lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. There is a need for increased education for registered nurses and nurse-practitioners regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual culture, their unique healthcare needs, as well as the role of stigma and marginalisation in caring for vulnerable populations.

Authors+Show Affiliations

NYU Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA.NYU Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27378410

Citation

Dorsen, Caroline, and Nancy Van Devanter. "Open Arms, Conflicted Hearts: Nurse-practitioner's Attitudes Towards Working With Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Patients." Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 25, no. 23-24, 2016, pp. 3716-3727.
Dorsen C, Van Devanter N. Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25(23-24):3716-3727.
Dorsen, C., & Van Devanter, N. (2016). Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(23-24), 3716-3727. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13464
Dorsen C, Van Devanter N. Open Arms, Conflicted Hearts: Nurse-practitioner's Attitudes Towards Working With Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Patients. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25(23-24):3716-3727. PubMed PMID: 27378410.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. AU - Dorsen,Caroline, AU - Van Devanter,Nancy, PY - 2016/06/30/accepted PY - 2016/7/6/pubmed PY - 2017/2/25/medline PY - 2016/7/6/entrez KW - LGBT health KW - health disparities KW - nurse-practitioner attitudes KW - qualitative research KW - stigma/discrimination SP - 3716 EP - 3727 JF - Journal of clinical nursing JO - J Clin Nurs VL - 25 IS - 23-24 N2 - AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. BACKGROUND: Literature suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals have significant health disparities compared to heterosexuals. Although the reasons are multifactorial, research suggests that attitudes of healthcare providers (HCPs) may be a contributing factor in both accessing and receiving care. There is currently no literature exploring the attitudes of the approximately 300,000 nurse-practitioners in the United States. Thus, nurse-practitioners strengths and challenges in providing care to sexual minorities are unknown. DESIGN: As part of a larger study, Corbin & Strauss' grounded theory methodology was used to explore the attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual patients among primary care nurse-practitioners in NYC. METHODS: Data were collected via individual semi-structured interviews with nurse-practitioners currently in practice in primary or outpatient care in NYC (n = 19). Data were evaluated using the three-step constant comparison method. RESULTS: Nurse-practitioners in this study had varied, often overlapping and sometimes conflicting, attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. The main theme identified was 'open arms, conflicted hearts' with three major subthemes - feeling at home, struggling to maintain professionalism and finding comfort under the umbrella of diversity. CONCLUSIONS: Nurse-practitioner participants in this study had varied attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, ranging from open, confident and comfortable to ambivalent, cautious and unsure about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients generally and specifically regarding the health needs of this population. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study highlights the inadequate didactic and clinical preparation most nurse-practitioners feel they have to care for lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. There is a need for increased education for registered nurses and nurse-practitioners regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual culture, their unique healthcare needs, as well as the role of stigma and marginalisation in caring for vulnerable populations. SN - 1365-2702 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27378410/Open_arms_conflicted_hearts:_nurse_practitioner's_attitudes_towards_working_with_lesbian_gay_and_bisexual_patients_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13464 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -