Perceptions of Healthcare Experiences: Relational and Communicative Competencies to Improve Care for LGBT People

Sheila K. Smith, Susan C. Turell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article presents findings from a small-sample, exploratory focus group study examining LGT persons’ descriptions of healthcare experiences and perceptions of best practices in healthcare. Goals of the study were to identify areas in which healthcare experiences can be improved through enhancements in healthcare provider education, consciousness-raising, skill development, and/or healthcare system. This article presents focus group data, which revealed major interpersonal and healthcare system-level themes, including similarities and differences between and among sexual orientation/gender identity groups (lesbian, gay, HIV+ gay men, and transgender individuals). Implications are discussed for improved quality in LGBT healthcare delivery, health professions’ education, patient–provider relationships, and reducing social injustices associated with discriminatory healthcare experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-657
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA 98447 Tel: 253-535-7676; [e-mail:]. Sheila K. Smith is now at the School of Nursing, Pacific Lutheran University. Susan C. Turell is now Marywood University, Scranton, PA. The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of student research collaborators Lisa Mercer, Sydney Jagusch, and Erin Liffrig. This research was supported in part by grants from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire faculty–student research collaboration program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of Healthcare Experiences: Relational and Communicative Competencies to Improve Care for LGBT People'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this