LGBTQ plus cancer patients: Are UK oncologists being supported to develop essential knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to provide quality care?
AffiliationGender Identity Clinic, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK;
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AbstractBackground: Over 1 million people in the United Kingdom identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) with increasing literature highlighting inequalities in their cancer care. A recent study of US oncologists revealed 53.1% were confident in their knowledge of health needs of LGB patients and 36.9% of transgender patients. To date, no UK studies have evaluated selfperceived knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of oncologists about LGBTQ+ patients. Methods: Our questionnaire-based study was administered via a secure online platform, with a majority Likert-scale responses. Questions assessed knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about LGBTQ+ patients. Consultant and trainee, medical, and clinical oncologists were recruited via email through specialty organisations and social media. Informed consent was sought and responses fully anonymised. Results were presented as descriptive statistics. Multifactorial ordinal logistic regression and Fisher’s exact test were used to assess interactions between demographics and responses with Holm-Bonferroni multiple testing correction. Results: 258 participants (mean age of 43 years) were recruited over 6 weeks. Gender identities were 56.7% female, 40.3% male and 1.1% undisclosed. 65% of respondents were consultants, 42% were medical and 54% clinical oncologists. Whilst 83.7% felt comfortable treating LGBTQ+ patients, only 8.8% reported confidence in their knowledge of their healthcare needs. 67.5% felt that LGBTQ+ healthcare needs should be a mandatory component of a postgraduate curriculum in oncology. Only 2.4% and 5.4% enquired about a patient’s gender identity and sexual orientation respectively, as part of their consultation. Conclusions: This study highlights a deficit in knowledge of oncologists of specific cancer care needs of LGBTQ+ patients and a desire to address this through training. Overall oncologists feel comfortable treating LGBTQ+ patients but may fail to identify these patients in their clinic, making it more difficult to meet those needs. Educational resources developed from the findings of this study could improve the confidence of oncologists and address health inequalities for the LGBTQ+ population.
CitationBerner AM, Hughes DJ, Tharmalingam H, Baker T, Heyworth B, Banerjee S, et al. 1614P LGBTQ+ cancer patients: Are UK oncologists being supported to develop essential knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to provide quality care? Annals of Oncology. 2020;31:S969-S.
JournalAnnals of Oncology
TypeMeetings and Proceedings