Homophobic care darkens health outcomes

Homophobic care contributes to health outcomes that are 1.2 times worse in LGBT residents, compared to the heterosexual population, new research finds.

According to a report from the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), care staff refuse to acknowledge or will miscategorise same-sex relationships, giving the impression that expressing an LGBT identity is not allowed. This raises the odds of lesbian, gay, or bisexual men and women experiencing poor self-rated health by around 1.2 times, compared to heterosexual people.

The report finds that LGBT people can show a greater need for formal care provision, as they may not have children or may be alienated from family members. Once in care, they are less able to avoid homophobia, resulting in a loss of autonomy, which can influence health outcomes. LGBT people are also more likely to be living with a long-term limiting illness and have lower overall life satisfaction.

 The ILC reports a tendency for training of health and care professionals to focus on treating all patients the same and it calls for a renewed focus on inclusive care.

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