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Most Patients Fine With Providers Asking About Sexual Orientation

It is believed these questions may help to reduce health disparities among LGBTI patients

TUESDAY, March 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The vast majority of patients (97 percent) are comfortable with health providers asking sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions, according to a study published online March 9 in Health Services Research.

Jordan E. Rullo, Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues assessed 491 new patients’ attitudes towards intake forms at three outpatient clinics within a large academic medical center. Patients were randomized to receive either routine intake forms or routine forms plus a SOGI questionnaire.

The researchers observed no significant differences in patient attitudes between the two groups (P > 0.05). Only 3 percent of those receiving SOGI questions reported being distressed, upset, or offended.

“Our results should help ease the concerns of providers who want to deliver the highest-quality care for their patients but may not ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions for fear of distressing or offending their patients,” a coauthor said in a statement. “These questions will help Mayo Clinic identify the unique, unmet needs of LGBTI patients and highlight that equitable care for all people is a top priority.”

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