Experiences and unmet needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people with cancer care: A systematic review and meta-synthesis.Psychooncology. 2018 06; 27(6):1480-1489.P
To explore the cancer care experiences and unmet needs of people who identify as a sexual or gender minority.
A qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis was undertaken based on a registered protocol. Following literature searching and study selection, study quality was examined by using the Critical Appraisal Skill Programme Checklist. Qualitative data were extracted verbatim from included studies and synthesized by using thematic analysis.
Fifteen studies that included lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people living with or beyond cancer were included in the review. Studies including gender minorities were not identified. Most of the study participants were sexual minority women with breast cancer or sexual minority men with prostate cancer. Meta-synthesis of 106 individual findings generated 6 overarching themes pertaining to sexual orientation disclosure, experiences and fear of homophobia, positive and negative health-care professional behaviors, heterocentric systems and care, inadequacy of available support groups, and unmet needs for patient-centered care and LGB-specific information. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people often reported feelings of anxiety, invisibility, isolation, and frustration throughout the cancer care continuum.
Analysis of the experiences of LGB people with cancer care shows that LGB people face numerous challenges due to their sexual orientation and receive care that does not adequately address their needs. Training and education of health-care professionals are strongly recommended to address some of these challenges and practice gaps. Culturally appropriate care includes avoiding heterosexual assumptions, use of inclusive language, the provision of tailored information, and involving partners in care.