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Developing Standards for Cultural Competency Training for Health Care Providers to Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Persons: Consensus Recommendations from a National Panel

Pratt-Chapman ML, Eckstrand K, Robinson A, Beach LB, Kamen C, Keuroghlian AS, Cook S, Radix A, Bidell MP, Bruner D, Margolies L

LGBT Health

Purpose: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and/or asexual and other sexual and gender diverse persons (LGBTQIA+ or SGD persons) experience barriers to equitable health care. The purpose of this article is to describe a collaborative process that resulted in core cultural competency recommendations addressing training for those who provide health care and/or social services to LGBTQIA+ patients. 

Methods: In 2018 and 2019, Whitman-Walker Health, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Washington, DC, and the National LGBT Cancer Network purposively selected leaders of community clinics and community-based organizations, cultural competency trainers, and clinicians and researchers with expertise in SGD health with diverse lived experiences to develop consensus-based cultural competency recommendations. Recommendations were developed through a synthesis of peer-reviewed studies, publicly accessible curricula, and evaluations of SGD cultural competency trainings; two in-person convenings; and iterative feedback from diverse stakeholders. 

Results: Five anchoring recommendations emerged: (1) know your audience; (2) develop and fine-tune the curriculum; (3) employ both adult and transformational learning theories; (4) choose multiple effective trainers; and (5) evaluate impact of training. These recommendations promote an ongoing process of individual and organizational improvement and a stance of humility rather than competence to be mastered. 

Conclusion: By setting core cultural competency standards for all persons involved in health care and social services, these recommendations complement existing clinical competency recommendations to advance SGD health equity.

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