Report highlights experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people with cancer

Researchers, including Professor Richard Neal from the University of Leeds, conducted a secondary analysis of the 2013 UK National Cancer Patient Experience Survey to investigate the responses of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in particular.

Compared with heterosexual survey respondents, significant differences were found on survey questions which related to poorer patient-centred care, less involvement in treatment decision-making and the suitability of information resources.

Bisexual respondents particularly found it difficult to contact their dedicated nurse specialists and to get understandable answers from them.

They reported that they were dissatisfied with their interaction with nurses on hospital wards, and the care and help provided by both health and social care services after leaving hospital.

Despite wanting to be more involved in treatment decision-making, these respondents indicated that they were not given a choice of treatments.

Professor Neal, a Professor of Primary Care Oncology in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said: “This is the first research highlighting the cancer care experiences of gay, lesbian and bisexual patients.

“It shows that whilst health professionals must try to provide a good experience as possible for all patients, particular attention should be paid to the specific needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual patients.

“The findings of this research also direct health professionals as to how they may best do this.”

A worrying picture of social isolation was also painted through the findings, the researchers said.

A higher proportion of LGB respondents said that either no family or friends were involved, or that that they did not want their family or friends involved in their cancer care experience, compared with heterosexual respondents.

This could be a deliberate strategy to protect family and friends from negative consequences of continued homophobia and discrimination, the researchers said. Health and disease information It is possible that choosing to exclude their loved ones is regarded by the patient as a ‘safer’ option.

Professor Nick Hulbert Williams, Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the University of Chester, led the study, which is published in the European Journal of Cancer Care.

He said: “Across all aspects of cancer care, there is an important drive to explore the effects of population diversity so that we can ensure all patients receive the same standard of care.

“Research into the experiences of all groups of sexual orientation is essential to identify, understand and address cancer care inequality.

“This is important, not least, because the LGB group is at increased risk of some specific cancers. Information about health insurance Health professionals rarely ask patients about their sexual orientation which may be adding to the perceived discrimination and negative cancer care experience.

“Many of the findings from this study relate to communication, in its various forms, between patients and healthcare teams.

“Previous research advocates a need for more training to support healthcare professionals in providing cancer care to sexual minority groups and our findings add further weight to this.

“Such training may be beneficial in creating an environment in which comfortable communication exists and where psychosocial support needs can be understood and met.”

Martin Wells, a cancer survivor and co-founder of Out with Prostate Cancer said: “I’m of the generation where being gay was illegal, a prison-able offence.

“Of the age where to disclose my sexuality in the early 1980s would mean no life insurance (because of HIV and AIDS, so no mortgage), of the age of “section 28″ and where, up until recently, being gay was considered a mental disease. Masshealth information So when confronted with outing myself to help secure good health care with a heath professional I have a lot of baggage to contend with.”

The findings from this study suggest that these contextual factors may continue to have a pervasive effect.

This study is the first of its kind within the UK cancer context. What is health information Although other recent work has demonstrated inequalities in the patient-reported experience arising from variation in age, gender and ethnicity, far less was known about the impact of sexual orientation on cancer care experiences prior to this study being undertaken.

Given recent legislative changes in the landscape for sexual equality in the UK, it is both timely, and useful, to explore potential inequality in cancer experiences in a UK sample, the researchers said.

Distributed annually to all patients who receive cancer treatment in the UK, the results of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey are intended to drive improvements in a patient’s experience of cancer care, and to inform service providers. Information about health and fitness Almost 70,000 people responded in 2013, of whom 0.8% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Ben Heyworth, who chairs the LGBT Cancer Support Alliance, added: “On behalf of the LGBT Cancer Support Alliance, I welcome the publication of this research, a welcome addition to the continuing discourse around health inequalities that affect many LGBT people.

“Going forward, my hope is that healthcare professionals will begin to think more deeply about the specific needs of LGBT people affected by cancer.”

The research team who led the work acknowledges that there are limitations to the study because they did not have control over which questions were asked in the original survey.

The findings are also based on a comparatively small sub-sample of those identifying as LGB but this may highlight ongoing issues with disclosure of sexuality within a healthcare setting.

Professor Hulbert-Williams says that this underlines the need for further research.

He added: “These findings have important clinical implications.

“Lesbian and gay respondents were more likely to indicate that they were not ‘treated with dignity and respect’ through their cancer care, and bisexual respondents were more likely to indicate that they felt treated as ‘a set of symptoms’ rather than as a whole person. Types of health information systems These are worrying findings that must be addressed as a priority.”

Explore further: Cervical cancer screening among lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men

A new study found that certain factors affect cervical cancer screening among lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men. Reliable health information Some of these factors overlap with the general female population, whereas others are specific to … Patient health information Lesbian women less likely than heterosexuals to get annual pap smears

Lesbian women are less likely than heterosexual and bisexual women to get timely pap smears, according to a new paper from sociologists at Rice University. What is health information systems Lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women in England report poorer health, experiences of health care

A survey of over two million people has found that lesbian, gay and bisexual men and women in England are more likely to report poor health and unfavourable experiences of the National Health Service than their heterosexual … Health information systems jobs Report on new estimates of the size of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population of England

New national data suggest lesbian, gay and bisexual adults were more likely to report impaired physical and mental health and heavy drinking and smoking, which may be the result of stressors they experience because of discrimination, … Information about health Sexual orientation affects cancer survivorship

Gay men have a higher prevalence of cancer compared with heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual female cancer survivors report lower levels of health than heterosexual female cancer survivors. Unitedhealth group information Those are the conclusions …

An international team of researchers has found that despite having brains that make them more risk-prone, recklessness by teens is not an inevitable part of adolescence. Health information systems definition In their paper published in the journal Developmental … Health related information Flame retardant chemicals may affect social behavior in young children

Some chemicals added to furniture, electronics and numerous other goods to prevent fires may have unintended developmental consequences for young children, according to a pilot study released today. Health education information Daylight saving time—why some have a hard time making the switch

A new study finds that caffeine may protect the lungs from damage caused by prolonged oxygen therapy, such as oxygen supplementation given to premature babies. Examples of health information systems The article is the first of its kind to study the positive effects … Information about healthy lifestyle People who trust their doctor tend to feel better

Confidence in doctors, therapists and nursing staff leads to an improvement in subjectively perceived complaints, satisfaction and quality of life in patients. Information for health This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis by psychologists at … Information about health and hygiene How exercise—interval training in particular—helps your mitochondria stave off old age

It’s oft-repeated but true: exercise keeps you healthy. Healthcare information technology It boosts your immune system, keeps the mind sharp, helps you sleep, maintains your muscle tone, and extends your healthy lifespan. Consumer health information Researchers have long suspected that …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *