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Health Care Experiences of Lesbian Women

Our current ANS featured article is titled Health Care Experiences of Lesbian Women: A Metasynthesis authored by Marianne Snyder PhD, MSN, RN. Her metasynthesis offers insights that can assist nurses in providing sensitive and appropriate care for lesbian women.  This article is also our current continuing education offering, providing nurses in all area of practice an opportunity to explore the important issues raised here, and demonstrate understanding of these issues.

Dr. Snyder provided this message for ANS readers about her work:

Marianne Snyder ’17 Ph.D. on May 10, 2018. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Despite the increasing awareness about the health disparities among lesbian women, many in this population continue to  encounter discrimination in healthcare settings. We know from the literature that many lesbian women delay seeking preventative healthcare service based on previous negative encounters with a healthcare provider. This metasynthesis addresses the healthcare experiences of lesbian women as explicated across 14 qualitative studies. This study resulted in four overarching themes about lesbian women’s perceptions that emerge during a healthcare encounter. Lesbians cautiously navigate a healthcare visit by listening to the provider for statements based on heteronormative assumptions, responses to the women who voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation or have a partner who accompanies them to the visit.  A broader understanding of the factors that contribute to positive and negative experiences among these women can benefit current and future healthcare providers who strive to provide more culturally sensitive and affirming care. Lesbian women perceive providers who demonstrate a welcoming and affirming presence when communicating and caring more positively.

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