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bisexuality, emerging adult, healthcare disparities, healthcare experiences, homosexuality



  1. Stover, Caitlin M. PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, CNE
  2. Hare, Patrick MS
  3. Johnson, Meghan BS


Purpose/Aims: The purpose of this study was to describe the healthcare experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual college students (ages 18-24 years) in the local college community. A specific aim of the study was to describe the factors (eg, healthcare system, patient, provider, clinical encounter) that influence this experience.


Design: This qualitative descriptive study used a community-based participatory research approach.


Setting: This study was conducted at a local college consortium in New England that consisted of 13 private and public colleges and universities.


Sample: A total of 19 college students who self-identified as lesbian (n = 7), gay (n = 7), and female bisexual (n = 4) were included. The mean (SD) age of the sample was 20.7 (1.2) years (range, 19-24 years), and the mean (SD) number of completed college years was 2.4 (1.2) (range, 1-5).


Methods: Three online synchronous focus groups were conducted.


Results: Qualitative content analysis revealed 1 overarching theme (not all the same), 1 main theme (comfort during the clinical encounter), and 3 subthemes (personalizing the clinical encounter, deciding to disclose and social stigma, and seeking support of self-identified sexual orientation).


Conclusions: Participants provided recommendations that are helpful to clinical nurse specialists to promote positive clinical encounters. Implications for clinical nurse specialist practice and recommendations for further research are addressed.