More than two-thirds of patients who identify as LGBTQ+ lack at least one vital health education resource tailored to their identity, researchers reported in study findings presented at the 15th American Association for Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of those patients desire posttreatment plans that include LGBTQ+ specific information.

Using data from 2,500 LGBTQ+ cancer survivors who completed the 2020 and 2021 Out: National Cancer Survey, researchers evaluated patients’ self-reported satisfaction with care, particularly in terms of:

  • Access to tailored LGBTQ+ educational resources
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation influence on patients’ treatment experience

They found that 70% of survivors reported inadequate access to important cancer treatment educational materials that accounted for their LGBTQ+ identity and 74% wanted LGBTQ+ information incorporated into their survivorship care plans. They also found that survivors who were satisfied with their cancer care during treatment were more likely to report feeling safe sharing their LGBTQ+ identity with their healthcare team (73%) compared with those who could not share their identity (29%).

“It may sound simple, but LGBTQ+ survivors reported that clinicians never asked about their sexual orientation throughout the whole of their care, and only 40% said that they were publicly identified as LGBTQ+,” the researchers said in a follow-up article about how healthcare providers can improve care for LGBTQ+ patients with cancer.

Find strategies for assessing your patients’ learning needs so you can deliver tailored education throughout their treatment trajectory on the Oncology Nursing Podcast Episode 197: Patient Learning Needs and Educational Assessments.