Speech-Language Pathologists' Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Populations Purpose The cultures and service needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) minority groups are relevant to speech-language pathologists (SLPs). In particular, transgender individuals seeking communication services from SLPs in order to improve quality of life require culturally and clinically competent clinicians. Knowledge and attitudes regarding a population ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 2015
Speech-Language Pathologists' Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Populations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adrienne Hancock
    The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Gregory Haskin
    The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Adrienne Hancock: hancock@gwu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Associate Editor: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Transgender / Professional Issues & Training / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 2015
Speech-Language Pathologists' Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Populations
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 206-221. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0095
History: Received July 7, 2014 , Revised November 11, 2014 , Accepted January 7, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 206-221. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0095
History: Received July 7, 2014; Revised November 11, 2014; Accepted January 7, 2015

Purpose The cultures and service needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) minority groups are relevant to speech-language pathologists (SLPs). In particular, transgender individuals seeking communication services from SLPs in order to improve quality of life require culturally and clinically competent clinicians. Knowledge and attitudes regarding a population are foundational stages toward cultural competency (Turner, Wilson, & Shirah, 2006). The purpose of this research is to assess LGBTQ knowledge and attitudes among aspiring and practicing SLPs.

Method An online survey was completed by 279 SLPs from 4 countries.

Results Mean accuracy scores on LGBTQ culture questions were near 50%. Self-ratings indicated more comfort than knowledge, with generally positive feelings toward LGBTQ subgroups. Transgender communication is within SLPs' scope of practice, yet 47% indicated such services were not addressed in their master's curriculum, and 51% did not know how to describe transgender communication therapy. When respondents were asked to indicate priority of 10 LGBTQ topics for a continuing education seminar, communication masculinization/feminization best practice and case examples had the highest mean priority scores.

Conclusion There is a need to promote LGBTQ cultural competence within speech-language pathology. This study provides direction for improving LGBTQ cultural competence among SLPs.

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