Authors' Affiliations

Stefan Pienkowski MA, Department of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Abbey Mann PhD, Department of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Family Medicine

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Abbey Mann

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Student

Project's Category

Other Diseases, Minority Health Services

Abstract Text

Providers’ Perspectives on Treating Patients for Substance Use Disorder in Northeast Tennessee

Stefan Pienkowski MA, Abbey Mann PhD

Department of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson CIty, TN

ABSTRACT

Previous research has shown that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer/questioning (LGTBQ+) have higher rates of substance use disorder (SUD) compared to the general population.1,2 Additionally, gender and sexual minorities have shown less treatment-seeking intentions than their heterosexual cis-gender counterparts.3 Given these circumstances, increasing approachability to SUD treatment options for people who identify as LGBTQ+ may significantly reduce this health disparity. Through this action research study, we set out to identify barriers to SUD treatment in northeast Tennessee as well as identify SUD treatment providers that make special accommodations for people who identify as LGBTQ+. Through purposive sampling, we identified nine providers of SUD treatment in Washington, Carter, and Sullivan counties. Providers included three physicians, three certified peer support specialists, a licensed counselor, and two facility directors. Providers each participated in a one-on-one semi-structured interview that lasted approximately 45 minutes and was audio recorded without the use of identifying information. Interview data were reviewed, and preliminary analysis was performed in order to identify themes. Themes included barriers to care, general resources, and stigma. LGBTQ+ specific findings revealed that none of the interviewed providers had received formal LGBTQ+ cultural competency training, but most providers expressed interest in receiving LGBTQ+ cultural competency training. Additionally, many providers did not believe that LGBTQ+ patients have specific needs concerning SUD treatment. Only three of the providers interviewed made special accommodations for their LGBTQ+ patients. In addition to identifying themes in the interview data, the results of this project were used to create a LGBTQ+ friendly SUD treatment resource guide for northeast Tennessee. Next steps for this action research project include 1) interviewing people who have experience with SUD treatment in northeast Tennessee and identify as LGBTQ+, 2) developing a community-based LGBTQ+ cultural competency training module informed by those interviews, 3) implementing and evaluating that module with SUD treatment providers in northeast Tennessee.

1. Medley, Grace, et al. “Sexual Orientation and Estimates of Adult Substance Use and Mental Health: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Oct. 2016, www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015.htm.

2. Mereish, Ethan H, and Judith B Bradford. “Intersecting Identities and Substance Use Problems: Sexual Orientation, Gender, Race, and Lifetime Substance Use Problems.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Rutgers University, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24411810.`

3. Benz, Madeline. “Stigma and Help-Seeking: The Interplay of Substance Use and Gender and Sexual Minority Identity.” Addictive Behaviors, Pergamon, 23 May 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460318311316.

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Providers’ Perspectives on Treating Patients for Substance Use Disorder in Northeast Tennessee

Providers’ Perspectives on Treating Patients for Substance Use Disorder in Northeast Tennessee

Stefan Pienkowski MA, Abbey Mann PhD

Department of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson CIty, TN

ABSTRACT

Previous research has shown that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer/questioning (LGTBQ+) have higher rates of substance use disorder (SUD) compared to the general population.1,2 Additionally, gender and sexual minorities have shown less treatment-seeking intentions than their heterosexual cis-gender counterparts.3 Given these circumstances, increasing approachability to SUD treatment options for people who identify as LGBTQ+ may significantly reduce this health disparity. Through this action research study, we set out to identify barriers to SUD treatment in northeast Tennessee as well as identify SUD treatment providers that make special accommodations for people who identify as LGBTQ+. Through purposive sampling, we identified nine providers of SUD treatment in Washington, Carter, and Sullivan counties. Providers included three physicians, three certified peer support specialists, a licensed counselor, and two facility directors. Providers each participated in a one-on-one semi-structured interview that lasted approximately 45 minutes and was audio recorded without the use of identifying information. Interview data were reviewed, and preliminary analysis was performed in order to identify themes. Themes included barriers to care, general resources, and stigma. LGBTQ+ specific findings revealed that none of the interviewed providers had received formal LGBTQ+ cultural competency training, but most providers expressed interest in receiving LGBTQ+ cultural competency training. Additionally, many providers did not believe that LGBTQ+ patients have specific needs concerning SUD treatment. Only three of the providers interviewed made special accommodations for their LGBTQ+ patients. In addition to identifying themes in the interview data, the results of this project were used to create a LGBTQ+ friendly SUD treatment resource guide for northeast Tennessee. Next steps for this action research project include 1) interviewing people who have experience with SUD treatment in northeast Tennessee and identify as LGBTQ+, 2) developing a community-based LGBTQ+ cultural competency training module informed by those interviews, 3) implementing and evaluating that module with SUD treatment providers in northeast Tennessee.

1. Medley, Grace, et al. “Sexual Orientation and Estimates of Adult Substance Use and Mental Health: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Oct. 2016, www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015/NSDUH-SexualOrientation-2015.htm.

2. Mereish, Ethan H, and Judith B Bradford. “Intersecting Identities and Substance Use Problems: Sexual Orientation, Gender, Race, and Lifetime Substance Use Problems.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Rutgers University, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24411810.`

3. Benz, Madeline. “Stigma and Help-Seeking: The Interplay of Substance Use and Gender and Sexual Minority Identity.” Addictive Behaviors, Pergamon, 23 May 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460318311316.