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Health Care Women Int. 1992 Apr-Jun;13(2):91-120.

Lesbian health care research: a review of the literature from 1970 to 1990.

Abstract

The author critically examines the research about health care providers' attitudes toward lesbians and the research about lesbians' experiences in health care encounters. Results of the review suggest that caregivers hold prejudiced views of lesbians and are generally condemnatory and ignorant about their lesbian clients. Lesbians frequently interpret caregivers' behaviors as hostile and rejecting and fear for their safety in health care interactions. Upon disclosure of their lesbian identity, many have been mistreated. Because of their negative experiences, they often delay seeking health care. Rather than conditions of respect and regard, lesbians report atmospheres of intimidation and humiliation, which encumber their interactions with health care providers. Tables outlining the study foci, samples, methods, and findings are provided. Ramifications of findings are discussed, implications for practice and policy are identified, and directions for future research about lesbian health care are suggested.

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