Most Patients Comfortable With Clinicians Asking About Sexual Orientation

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The majority of patients do not mind their physicians asking them about their sexual orientation.
The majority of patients do not mind their physicians asking them about their sexual orientation.

HealthDay News — The vast majority of patients (97%) are comfortable with health providers asking sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions, according to a study published online in Health Services Research.

Jordan E. Rullo, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues assessed 491 new patients' attitudes towards intake forms at 3 outpatient clinics within a large academic medical center. Patients were randomized to receive either routine intake forms or routine forms plus a SOGI questionnaire.

The researchers observed no significant differences in patient attitudes between the two groups (P >.05). Only 3 percent of those receiving SOGI questions reported being distressed, upset, or offended.

"Our results should help ease the concerns of providers who want to deliver the highest-quality care for their patients but may not ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions for fear of distressing or offending their patients," a coauthor said in a statement. "These questions will help Mayo Clinic identify the unique, unmet needs of LGBTI patients and highlight that equitable care for all people is a top priority."

Reference

Rullo JE, Foxen JL, Griffin JM, et al. Patient acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on intake forms in outpatient clinics: a pragmatic randomized multisite trial [published online March 9, 2018]. Health Serv Res. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12843

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