Original Research

Evidence of interventions for improving healthcare access for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in South Africa: A scoping review

Zamasomi P. Luvuno, Gugu Mchunu, Busisiwe Ncama, Hlolisile Ngidi, Tivani Mashamba-Thompson
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1367 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1367 | © 2019 Zamasomi P. Luvuno, Gugu Mchunu, Busisiwe Ncama, Hlolisile Ngidi, Tivani Mashamba-Thompson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 October 2016 | Published: 12 June 2019

About the author(s)

Zamasomi P. Luvuno, Discipline of Nursing, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Gugu Mchunu, Discipline of Nursing, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Busisiwe Ncama, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Hlolisile Ngidi, Discipline of Nursing, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Tivani Mashamba-Thompson, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations have unique health risks including an increased risk of mental health problems, high usage of recreational drugs and alcohol, and high rates of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Healthcare workers’ heteronormative attitudes compromise the quality of care to the LGBT population.

Aim: The objective of this study was to provide an overview of documented evidence on South Africa interventions aimed at improving healthcare access for LGBT individuals using a systematic scoping review.

Setting: This is a secondary literature review.

Methods: An electronic search was conducted using the following databases: EBSCOhost, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Google Scholar. Abstract and full article data were screened using inclusion and exclusion criteria by two researchers. Data extracted from the eligible studies were analysed using thematic analysis. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool, version 2011.

Results: Seventeen articles of the initial 151 hits were selected for review and an additional five files were identified through bibliographical search. Most studies had small sample sizes and focused on sexual health, targeting gay men and men who have sex with men in urban areas. Lesbians and bisexual women were not prioritised.

Discussion: It emerged from the review that LGBT issues were not covered in the healthcare worker curriculum. Further it was noted that there is a paucity of data on the South African LGBT population, as sexual orientation does not form part of the routine data set. The findings of this review indicate gaps in the literature, practice guidelines and policies in LGBT healthcare in South Africa.


Keywords

lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; healthcare access; healthcare accessibility; homosexuality; LGBT guidelines

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