Presentation Authors: Channa Amarasekera*, Jason Cohen, Vincent Wong, Kathryn Jackson, Christopher Morrison, Oliver Ko, David Victorson, Shilajit Kundu, Chicago, IL
Introduction: Despite societal acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, sexual minorities continue to face health disparities. There is limited data on the interactions of urologic providers with LGBT patients. We sought to assess attitudes, knowledge and practice patterns of urologists regarding LGBT patients.
Methods: A 46-item online survey was administered to urologists from around the country. E-mail invitations were sent to the American Urological Association (AUA) Western Section, and academic urology departments within the United States. The survey assessed demographics, attitudes, knowledge, and practice patterns. The Chi-Square test was used to compare the distribution of responses, and multivariate regression analysis was used to determine the independent effect of age, year of graduation, gender, training in LGBT care, and the estimated volume of LGBT patients.
Results: 112 adult urologists responded to the survey (89 males, 23 females). More respondents reported being very comfortable discussing sexual health with heterosexual patients compared to LGBT patients (80.2% vs. 64.3%, p < 0.0001). A majority (62.5%) of urologists do not ask patients about their sexual orientation, and 26.1% assume their patients to be heterosexual upon first encounter. While 58.9% of urologists said they were well informed on LGBT health issues, on average, < 50% answered the portion of the survey testing physician knowledge correctly. A majority of participants (73.9%) reported less than 5 hours of education on how to care for LGBT patients in medical school or continuing education, and 72.7% felt that more training through professional societies is necessary. Urologists reporting > 5 hours of LGBT training were more likely to think it important to know patients&[prime] gender identities (p=.0006). Those willing to be listed as LGBT-friendly providers, as well as urologists whose patient panels were estimated to be > 6% LGBT were significantly more comfortable with LGBT patients (p =0.02 and .007, respectively). No significant differences in responses were noted between male and female urologists.
Conclusions: We found low levels of inquiry about patients&[prime] sexual orientation among urologists. Most respondents were comfortable with LGBT patients, despite limited formal training on LGBT healthcare. However, there were significant knowledge gaps about LGBT urologic healthcare, and the majority of respondents felt the need for more education on LGBT health.