Barriers to the advancement of knowledge about sex differences in health and illness persist for the LGBTQ community. Healthcare professionals need to increase awareness of the importance of sex, gender identity and sexuality in all aspects of health, including physical therapy.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health, recently published an article that outlines some of the challenges for this community, such as increased substance abuse, peer victimization and depression. It is important for physical therapists to be aware of the many disparities that exist and engage appropriately with their patients.

Check out our two-part LGBTQ educational series

  • The LGBTQ Community, Part 1: Perspectives in Healthcare
    1.5 hours – PT60236
    Sexual health and sexuality have received significant attention in the last decade — not just from healthcare stakeholders but also across the spectrum of human-service providers. This module presents an overview of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and its contentious history with the healthcare systems. Definitions of key concepts related to sexuality and gender variables and general implications for clinical education, practice and research are discussed.
  • The LGBTQ Community Part 2: Healthcare Disparities
    2 hours – PT60237
    This module presents the complex and intricately linked social determinants of health unique among the LGBTQ community. Information will be analyzed based on the four conceptual perspectives for understanding LGBTQ health suggested by the HMD: minority stress, intersectionality, life-course framework, and social ecology. Regardless of the type of healthcare service line, setting, clinical specialty and population focus, all healthcare workers will interact with LGBTQ patients and clients. A meaningful understanding of LGBTQ health disparities is a vital first step in providing respectful, patient-centered and interprofessional healthcare.