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J Homosex. 2018;65(5):561-578. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1328224. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Coping With Stress as an LGBTQ+ Health Care Professional.

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a Department of Health Education, College of Health and Social Sciences , San Francisco State University , San Francisco , California , USA.
b Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care , Brigham & Women's Hospital , Boston , Massachusetts , USA.
c Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University , San Francisco , California , USA.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQ+) health care providers face both general work-related stresses and working in heteronormative settings with ill-informed or hostile coworkers and patients, yet there has been little study of whether the coping strategies are specific to LGBTQ+ stress. We analyzed qualitative data from 277 health care professionals. Sources of stress included religiously and politically conservative coworkers, coworker/patient lack of knowledge, stresses of being closeted, and concerns about being out to patients. Consequences of being out as LGBTQ+ included lack of promotions, gossip, refusals of tenure, and anti-LGBTQ+ comments and behaviors in the workplace. Respondents showed mostly positive coping strategies to deal with stress, including becoming educators/advocates and self-care activities. Self-care options were common in rural areas with few LGBTQ+ social resources. Negative coping strategies were reported by 18% of respondents. The study highlights the extra burden of stress on LGBTQ+ health care providers.


LGBTQ; minority stress; resilience; stress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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