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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Pre-Professional Health Education Studentsí Attitudes towards Homosexuals

Sara L. Cole, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5220, Normal, IL 61790-5220, 309-438-5957, slcole@ilstu.edu and Michael Reece, PhD, MPH, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 E. Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7109.

Objectives: Little is known about the preparedness of health education students in addressing health issues within culturally diverse communities. Less is known about the extent these studentsí attitudes toward individual communities and specific health issues are associated with their comfort and interest in working with specific health issues or their comfort in working with specific populations. An understanding of these relationships may help prepare the future workforce. Methods: Data collected from 274 health education students were analyzed to explore relationships among health education studentsí attitudes, comfort, and interests. Results: The sample primarily consisted of Caucasian (84%), undergraduate (64.3%) women (88.6%). Strong correlations were found between homophobia scores and comfort in working with bisexual women (r=-.574, p=.000), lesbians (r=-.525, p=.000), bisexual men (r=-.471, p=.000), and gay men (r=.407, p=.000); comfort with gay and lesbian health issues (r=-.469, p=.000); and interest in gay and lesbian health issues (r=-.561, p=.000). Conclusions: This primarily white female sample appeared to be most interested and comfortable in working with health issues that were reflective of their personal experiences, and they appeared to be most comfortable with individuals most like themselves. Thus, the future work force may not be prepared to work with culturally diverse communities. This need in educating the future workforce is a further challenge to eliminate health disparities.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Improving Access to Healthcare and Services for LGBT Populations

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA