AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe lesbian, gay and bisexual parents' experiences of nurses' attitudes in child health care.
BACKGROUND: Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are often reluctant to disclose their gender identity for fear of discrimination. This fear may lead to avoidance of healthcare for themselves or their children and may negatively affect families' health and well-being.
DESIGN: A qualitative inductive design was employed.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 lesbian, gay or bisexual parents (11 mothers and 3 fathers) with child health care experiences in southern Sweden. Interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Two themes were identified. One, a 'sense of marginalization', included lesbian, gay and bisexual parents' experiences of heteronormative attitudes among child health care nurses which led them to feel alienated and questioned as parents. Another, 'being respected for who you are', included experiences of being respected and included at child health care appointments.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings paint a complex picture of lesbian, gay and bisexual parents' interactions with child health care nurses in that they experienced both positive and negative attitudes. Knowledge gaps about lesbian, gay and bisexual families within the child health care field must be filled.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Child health care nurses should work with the entire family to provide the best care for the child; however, discrimination in health care is common and often caused by a lack of knowledge. The number of children living with same-sex parents has increased more than ten-fold since the end of the 1990s. It is therefore important to explore lesbian, gay and bisexual parents' experiences with child health care nurses' attitudes to improve quality of care.
- Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)