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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2003 Dec;21(4):205-8.

Challenging heteronormativity in the consultation: a focus group study among general practitioners.

Author information

1
Department of Primary Health Care, The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. anna.westerstahl@allmed.gu.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To reflect on and further understand mechanisms of heteronormativity in the consultation, with special focus on the relative invisibility of lesbian women.

DESIGN:

Tape-recorded focus group interviews transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative methods.

SETTING:

General practitioners (GPs) from the city of Göteborg, Sweden, who had formerly answered a postal questionnaire about lesbian women in the consultation, were invited to take part in subsequent focus groups.

SUBJECTS:

Ten GPs from the questionnaire who accepted the invitation and volunteered to participate in focus groups.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A discourse analytical approach using interaction regarding consensus and disagreement between informants in creating major and minor themes.

RESULTS:

Consultation skills were forwarded as a major tool in receiving optimal information from patients. However, traditional concepts of family and sexuality restricted information and hampered an accepting attitude. Bringing up issues of sexual identity/orientation was left to the lesbian patient and strongly related to her reason for attending.

CONCLUSION:

Consultation skills are a useful but not sufficient means of making lesbian women visible in the doctor-patient relationship. Doctors also need to transcend traditional concepts of family and sexuality and reflect on what is a relevant issue from the patient's perspective.

PMID:
14695069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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