COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nursing and medical students' attitude, knowledge and beliefs regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents seeking health care for their children

Rose Chapman, Rochelle Watkins, Tess Zappia, Pam Nicol, Linda Shields
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2012, 21 (7-8): 938-45
22008095

BACKGROUND: Little research has been conducted to investigate students' attitudes, knowledge and beliefs regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents seeking health care for their children.

DESIGN: Descriptive, comparative study. Validated scales were used to assess students' attitudes, knowledge and beliefs and gay affirmative practice. Three open ended questions assessed beliefs regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents accessing health care for their children.

METHOD: Nursing and medical students completed questionnaires about attitudes to homosexuality. Associations between variables were assessed using chi-square tests of independence, and differences between nursing and medical student groups were assessed using the Mann-Whitney U-test or the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance test. Responses to the open ended questions were evaluated, coded and described.

RESULTS: Knowledge and attitudes about homosexuality were significantly associated with students' race, political voting behaviour, religious beliefs and having a friend who is openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

CONCLUSIONS: It is important to develop strategies to address the existence of prejudicial attitudes among student health professionals and prevent discriminatory practices towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents when seeking health care for their children.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Educators can develop programs that provide students with knowledge and skills to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families receive effective health care when they access services for their children.

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