American Academy of Neurology members' preparedness to treat sexual and gender minorities

Nicole Rosendale, Tasha Ostendorf, David A. Evans, Allison Weathers, Jason J. Sico, Julie Randall, Holly E. Hinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To measure the attitudes and knowledge of American Academy of Neurology (AAN) member neurologists in caring for sexual and gender minority (SGM) patients (e.g., those who identify in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning [LGBTQ+] spectrum) to inform future educational offerings. METHODS: A questionnaire was created in an iterative process by the LGBTQ+ Survey Task Force, consisting of 21 questions examining self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and clinical preparedness in caring for SGM patients. Participants responded to each statement with a 5-point Likert scale ("strongly disagree" to "strongly agree"). The survey was distributed via electronic and conventional mail to a random, representative sample of 1,000 AAN members. RESULTS: The response rate was 13.5% (n = 135). Most respondents (60%-66%) were aware of local and national barriers that inhibit SGM individuals from using health care services; the majority (73%-91%) felt comfortable assessing SGM patients. Over half believed sexual orientation (SO) and gender identity (GI) to be social determinants of health (61% and 57%, respectively). Yet a third would not tailor neurologic care based on a patient's SGM identity, and 43% believed that SO/GI has no bearing on the management of neurologic illness. CONCLUSIONS: Most neurologists surveyed were aware of overarching barriers to care experienced by SGM individuals; however, a minority of respondents recognized the intersection of SGM identity with neurologic health. Our results highlight awareness gaps that could be addressed via targeted educational opportunities, ensuring that neurologists provide high-quality neurologic care to patients of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 23 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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