Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012
News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians
Study explores LGBTQ adolescents' faith experiences
A recent article published in the Journal of Adolescence offers insight into the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) adolescents' sexual and religious identities. The authors think these insights may have relevance for clinicians as well.
The authors studied in depth 19 LGBTQ adolescents and young adults who identified being raised in a Christian faith, and found their religious backgrounds had both positive and negative outcomes. Many of the subjects reported social strain, especially from within their religious communities, with young adult participants also suffering from symptoms of religious-related guilt and feelings of inadequacy.
Despite these adverse experiences, many subjects reported positive experiences with their religious upbringings, including the incorporation of religious values into their identities.
The authors point to the importance of their findings for clinicians trying to understand their LGBTQ patients. They recommend that clinicians seek to understand holistically the role religion has played in their patients' lives, probing for both negative and positive outcomes. They stress the importance of responding sensitively to the inner-conflict sexual minorities might feel toward their religious experiences.
The AMA also offers resources to help clinicians "Know How to Communicate with LGBT Patients."
AMA video features best practices when taking a sexual history
The AMA has developed a video to educate physicians on best practices when taking a sexual history. Health care providers know and understand the importance of taking a proper sexual history. Often, it is the sexual history that reveals additional important facets about the patients, such as their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The video, "Patient Sexual Health History: What You Need to Know to Help," offers recommendations and considerations when treating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients. The video is available online free of charge.