Sexual Minority Womens Access to Healthcare

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Sexual minority women experience a number of physical and mental health disparities compared to their heterosexual peers. One factor contributing to this disparity is access to care, of which sexual minority women also report having less than heterosexual women. In this study I examine predictors of sexual minority women's access to care in three ecological contexts: structural, community, and interpersonal. Eighty-eight sexual minority women 22 and older from Davidson County, TN responded to an online survey that gathered information about demographic factors and various aspects access to care including accessing healthcare systems, gaining access within the system, and patient/provider relationships. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine whether demographic factors were significant predictors of access to care. Age, education, and degree to which participants were open with others about their sexual orientation were significant predictors of access. Results point to significant differences in access to care within this population that has multiple marginalized identity statuses, indicating a need for attention to within-population access needs. Sexual minority women who are younger, less educated, and less out to others about their sexual orientation may be at increased risk to face barriers to care. Implications for practice and policy include a need for increased cultural competence of healthcare providers, and changes in policies that will close the insurance gap between heterosexual and sexual minority adults in the U.S.


Johnson City, TN

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