Heteronormative models of health-care delivery: investigating staff knowledge and confidence to meet the needs of LGBTIQ+ people

Jan Kilicaslan, Melissa Petrakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Health services internationally are reconsidering whether current service delivery models are inclusive and responsive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and gender diverse, intersex, and/or queer (LGBTIQ+) identifying individuals. A survey was conducted to establish a baseline needs analysis, as part of an LGBTIQ+ workforce development program, on perceived staff knowledge and confidence in a multi-site public mental health service in Melbourne, Australia. The survey comprising multiple choice, 5-point Likert scale ratings, and short answer sections was administered to mental health staff attending training at their place of work. Workplaces included: community clinics, residential services, acute inpatient services, service development, and research departments. Perceptions of self-confidence and knowledge, and further support needs expressed, were examined through analyzing quantitative and qualitative responses in feedback following the education sessions. The sample comprised 85 respondents; the majority female (66%), with a good representation of staff across age brackets. While the majority of staff identified as heterosexual (68%), LGBTIQ+ individuals were represented. Though 64% of staff surveyed noted that opportunities exist in the workplace to discuss LGBTIQ+ issues, a desire to increase knowledge was expressed by 94% of staff. Staff attitudes, knowledge, confidence, and support needs should be carefully considered at organizational and leadership levels, to ensure health services foster LGBTIQ+ responsive service delivery models and practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-632
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • bisexual
  • gay
  • health care
  • health policy
  • lesbian
  • Mental health
  • queer
  • service delivery

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