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A pilot training programme for health and social care professionals providing oncological and palliative care to lesbian, gay and bisexual patients in Ireland

Authors


Correspondence to: Department of Psycho-oncology, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. E-mail: finncgreygan@yahoo.com

Abstract

Objective

The international literature points to the specific cancer risks and palliative care needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) populations. However, with the exception of a programme in the USA, there is a lack of training internationally for health and social care professionals providing oncological and palliative care to LGB patients. In Ireland, a training project funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the Irish Hospice Foundation and the Health Service Executive developed a training pilot programme for health and social care professionals providing oncological and palliative care to LGB patients.

Methods

Over 200 (N = 201) oncology and palliative care staff participated in 17 brief, 50-min trainings in pilot sites. Evaluation of the training included self-report questionnaires at the end of each training and an evaluation interview with one participant from each of the four sites.

Results

The majority of participants reported that they would recommend the training to their colleagues, were interested in further training in the area and found the training useful for their practice. They also reported becoming more familiar with LGB-related language and terminology, became more knowledgeable of LGB health issues and reported becoming more confident in providing care to LGB patients.

Conclusions

Recommendations are that the training be made available across the health services in Ireland and included in postgraduate courses for trainee health and social care professionals. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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