A first step in addressing medical education Curriculum gaps in lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, and transgender-related content: The University of Louisville Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Certificate Program.Educ Health (Abingdon). 2017 May-Aug; 30(2):108-114.EH
Individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming, and/or born with differences of sex development have specific health needs and significant health disparities exacerbated by a lack of training among health professionals. The University of Louisville LGBT Health Certificate Program used an interdisciplinary approach to increase training, potentially enabling future physicians to provide quality healthcare to LGBT patients.
A pretest-post-test design was used to investigate medical students' (n = 39) attitude and knowledge outcomes after program participation. Attitudinal items with Likert-type responses were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Baseline frequency and percentage of correct responses were tabulated for knowledge questions. At both pre- and post-test, the 11 knowledge items were summed to establish a total knowledge score, creating two total scores. The paired sample t-test was used to evaluate the pre- and post-change, and Cohen's D was used to assess effect size. All P values were two-tailed. Statistical significance was set by convention at P < 0.05.
Students correctly answered 69% or less of the knowledge questions at baseline. Total correct knowledge scores significantly increased post intervention with the effect size being large (Cohen's D = 0.90, P < 0.001). Attitudes significantly increased post intervention on two items (P = 0.019 and P = 0.037). Some attitude items decreased post intervention: students felt it is more challenging to conduct a patient history with a LGB patient (pre-mean agreement = 2.44; post-mean agreement = 2.97, P = 0.018).
Medical educators can play a critical role in decreasing LGBT healthcare disparities. The University of Louisville LGBT Health Certificate Program played an important first step in increasing medical students' knowledge and improving certain attitudes about LGBT patients.