Do LGBT aging trainings effectuate positive change in mainstream elder service providers?

J Homosex. 2014;61(1):197-216. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2013.835618.


This study aims to provide empirical evidence regarding whether attitudes, beliefs, and intentions of elder-service providers can be positively affected as a result of attending cultural competency training on the unique challenges of sexual and gender minorities. Stigmatization throughout the lifespan may have a causal influence on barriers to care, social isolation, and concomitant health disparities. Data were collected for this study at 4 Massachusetts training events to pilot a cultural competency workshop on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) aging for mainstream elder service providers. This quasi-experimental study included the analysis of pre- and posttest surveys completed by the service-provider attendees (N = 76). The analytic strategy included descriptive statistics, paired t tests, chi-square analyses, and repeated measures analyses of variance. Findings revealed statistically significant improvement in numerous aspects of providers' knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions subsequent to the training sessions. These included (p = .000) awareness of LGBT resources, policy disparities, spousal benefits for same-sex couples, and the intention to challenge homophobic remarks. This study concludes that mainstream elder-service provider training on LGBT aging issues results in positive change. Recommendations include long-term follow up of participants, the inception of agency-level surveys to appraise institutional culture change, and increased curriculum on transgender older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • Boston
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Culture
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatrics / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pilot Projects
  • Social Stigma
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*