New national survey targets palliative care needs of LGBTIQ+ people

A new online survey asks LGBTIQ+ people and/or health professionals to share their views on palliative care for LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia.

Launched this week by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) and the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), the online survey asks LGBTIQ+ people and/or health professionals to share their views on palliative care for LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia.

The survey aims to fill existing research gaps and inform the development of e-modules to train health professionals to provide inclusive care.

“Appropriate palliative care is especially important for LGBTIQ+ people and their loved ones, to give them the quality, affirming end-of-life experiences everyone deserves,” Zed Tintor, Acting CEO of LHA, said.

The specific palliative care needs of LGBTIQ+ people and the best ways to meet these are not well-known.

Particularly under-researched are the end-of-life needs of intersex people, bisexual people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) LGBTIQ+ people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people, Brotherboys and Sistergirls, and LGBTIQ+ people with disability.

Barriers stand in the way of LGBTIQ+ people having their unique needs met in palliative care and can lead to patients choosing not to disclose that they are LGBTIQ+. This can result in LGBTIQ+ people not being provided with patient-centred, inclusive care.

Healthcare discrimination, legal barriers (including reduced rates of Advance Care Planning), inconsistent recognition of LGBTIQ+ partnerships and chosen families, and distrust of health professionals can all reduce LGBTIQ+ people’s end-of-life care experiences.

However, current research shows that much can be done to create positive change.

LGBTIQ+-inclusive training for health professionals, culturally appropriate support for end-of-life decision-making, legal advice for end-of-life documentation and Advance Care Planning, and the development and implementation of inclusive policies by healthcare providers may all make a difference.

Participants can access the survey here.

Participants must be:

  • LGBTIQ+ people; OR
  • LGBTIQ+ healthcare professionals; OR
  • Healthcare professionals who are not LGBTIQ+; AND
  • Living in Australia
  • 18 years and older
  • Proficient enough in English to complete an online survey in English.

Participants do not have to be accessing palliative care services to participate in the survey, and all views are welcome and contribute to this important national dataset.

The survey is part of a three-year National Palliative Care Project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Media contact: Hannah Morgan, National Palliative Care Project Manager, 0433 690 612, [email protected]

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ABOUT LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, (formerly the National LGBTI Health Alliance), is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse (LGBTIQ+) people and communities. Dropping the “+” from our name only occurs within digital formats that do not allow mathematical symbols, such as within our domain name, handles and hashtags.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.