257134 Attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of the lesbian and bisexual population towards breast health

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Rebecca Earlie-Royer, MPH, BS, CHES , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Heather Hug, MS , Department of Kinesiology, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd , Department of Public Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Sherry Tripepi , Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
One in eight women are at risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Lesbian and Bisexual women may be at an even greater risk due to higher rates of negative health risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol, consumption, high BMI's and lack of preventative care. Perceived discrimination by health care providers may specifically contribute to LGBT individuals being less likely to utilize prevention-based services or screenings (i.e. breast cancer screening). This is not surprising given that studies indicate that 40% of physicians were uncomfortable providing care to an LGBT individual and 8-12% of nursing students reported “despising” the LGBT population. To examine access and use of breast health related services a 4 page questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) and Health Belief Model (perceived barriers) was created and disseminated. A panel of experts evaluated the survey for content validity and deemed it valid. A convenience sample of 205 lesbian/bisexual individuals completed the questionnaire at a local LGBT public event. Preliminary analysis indicated that 73% of respondents believe it is beneficial to follow recommended breast health guidelines, 58% intended to follow guidelines, 27% indicated they were not confident in performing a monthly self-breast exam, 23% were not confident they could get a mammogram, and 38% were not confident they could find a physician that understands lesbian and bisexual women's health issues. Evidence from the study suggests interventions should address barriers associated with the lesbian and bisexual population including mobile services, health insurance coverage, physician education, and a physician referral system.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about preventative breast health practices of lesbian and bisexual women. 2. Discuss perceived barriers for lesbian and bisexual women associated with breast health services 3. Describe four public health interventions that might be considered in addressing breast health needs of the LGBT population.

Keywords: Lesbian Health, Breast Cancer Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Co-principal investigator on this research project. Doctoral student with coursework completed in Statistical Research/Design and Epidemiology. I have conducted an extensive literature review and analysis for this study. I have worked locally with the LGBT population for 1.5 years and in breast health for the past 3 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.