Disclosure for same-sex-attracted women enhancing the quality of the patient-doctor relationship in general practice Academic Article uri icon


  • Same-sex-attracted women describe lower satisfaction with their general practice care, compared with heterosexual women. Yet, they have greater health inequalities, which requires effective care. A lack of disclosure of sexual orientation to general practitioners (GPs) may be one factor influencing these issues.This study on the disclosure of sexual orientation by same-sex attracted women to their usual GP explored the impact of disclosure on the quality of the patient-doctor relationship. In-depth interviews with 33 same-sex-attracted women and 27 GPs in Australia were conducted during 2005-06. These interviews were analysed to understand the perspectives of the women and their GPs.Disclosure in the context of provider sensitivity and normalisation enhanced the perceived quality of the patient-doctor relation-ship. Conversely, silencing of disclosure and pathologising of sexual orientation diminished the relationship.Facilitating disclosure should be a shared responsibility between same-sex attracted women and their usual GP. This must be accompanied by improved GP knowledge and affirming attitudes regarding specific health needs of same-sex attracted women.

publication date

  • 2015