Sexual or gender minority patients prefer reporting sexual orientation nonverbally


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Findings from a new study suggest that sexual or gender minority (SGM) patients may prefer providing information on their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) via nonverbal self-report during registration rather than through verbal collection by a nurse. 

The matched cohort Emergency Department Query for Patient-Centered Approaches to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (EQUALITY) study included 540 adults and tested the two different SOGI collection approaches over 13 months. 

Adults who identified as a SGM were matched by age and illness severity to patients who identified as heterosexual and cisgender (non-SGM), and to patients whose SOGI information was missing.  Patient satisfaction was measured by a scale modified from the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit (CCAT) patient survey.

The study found SGM patients had significantly better CCAT scores with nonverbal registration form collection compared with nurse verbal collection, while there were no significant differences between the two approaches among non-SGM patients.  

Presenting the findings in JAMA Open Network, the authors said: “Previous research has indicated that many SGM patients feel that disclosing SOGI to a clinician is as difficult as disclosing to other people in their lives, so the findings of our study are critical to implementing SOGI collection in a patient-centred manner."