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LGBT Health. 2017 Oct;4(5):360-370. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2016.0194. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Acceptability and Preliminary Efficacy of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender-Affirmative Mental Health Practice Training in a Highly Stigmatizing National Context.

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1 Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York , New York, New York.
2 Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health , New Haven, Connecticut.



Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Romania encounter pervasive stigma and discrimination and there is a high need for LGBT-competent mental health professionals (MHPs). We tested the impact of a pilot LGBT-affirmative training for MHPs in Romania on these professionals' LGBT-relevant attitudes, knowledge, and perception of clinical skills.


We conducted a 2-day training for MHPs in Bucharest. Fifty-four attended and 33 provided training evaluation data at baseline and follow-up.


The majority of trainees were female (90%) and heterosexual (73%) with a mean age of 36.4 (SD = 7.7). From baseline to follow-up, trainees demonstrated a significant increase in perceived LGBT-relevant clinical skills (P < 0.001) and perceived knowledge (P < 0.05). LGBT-affirmative practice attitudes (P < 0.05) and comfort in addressing the mental health of LGBT individuals (P < 0.01) increased significantly, and homonegative and transnegative attitudes decreased significantly (P < 0.01). Negative attitudes toward LGBT individuals were low at both baseline and follow-up. The majority of trainees reported being highly interested in the training (84%), which they reported had prepared them to interact with and care for LGBT individuals (74%).


This pilot training appeared to be effective in increasing perceived LGBT competence among participating MHPs. This type of training model needs to be tested further in a randomized controlled trial with longer follow-up periods to assess intervention durability and implementation of clinical skills. Future trainings can be incorporated into existing curricula. National accreditation bodies might consider encouraging such training as part of standard educational requirements.


LGBT; homophobia; intervention; mental health; training

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