Explorative Questionnaire Study about Education with Regard to the Health of Sexual Minorities at an Austrian Medical University

J Homosex. 2022 Jun 14;1-23. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2022.2085937. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Physicians can play a critical role in helping lesbian, gay, and bisexual-identified (LGB) individuals face minority stress. The current questionnaire study among 305 medical students (62.6% women/37.4% men; Mage = 23.4, SD = 3.2) assessed whether medical students learn about LGB-specific concepts at an Austrian medical university. Students reported that their education contained little content about LGB-specific concepts. The majority of students did not hold negative attitudes toward homosexuality and they would like a larger range of courses concerning LGB-specific topics. The barrier most strongly associated with the intention to ask future patients about their sexual orientation was the belief that sexual orientation was irrelevant for clinical practice. Future education programs on LGB-specific topics may not need to focus on reducing negative attitudes toward sexual minorities, but should contain more facts on LGB individuals' specific healthcare needs and explain to students why a patient's sexual orientation is important to healthcare.

Keywords: Austria; LGB individuals’ healthcare needs; Medical education; assessing sexual orientation; knowledge about sexual minorities’ sexual health; medical students; negativity toward sexual minorities.