Disclosure in lesbian, gay and bisexual cancer care: towards a salutogenic healthcare environment
Background: The literature on sexual orientation disclosure is arguably one of the most developed in the field of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in healthcare in English speaking countries however, relatively little research has been conducted into disclosure in cancer care. Studies have been mainly undertaken in primary care where distinct circumstances pertain and where the benefits of disclosure include obtaining appropriate health information, treatment advice and avoiding misdiagnosis. Methods: We conducted an in-depth qualitative study primarily recruiting patients through oncology care in hospital settings and through LGB community cancer support groups. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 30 LGB patients with different cancer types. Results: Data were analysed using thematic analysis and interpreted and interrogated through salutogenesis theory which offers a useful lens through which to consider the health promoting effects of sexual orientation disclosure in cancer care. We present three themes as part of the analysis: Authenticity as a driver for disclosure in cancer care, Partners as a (potential) salutogenic resource and Creating safe, healing environments conducive to disclosure. The findings are reported and discussed in relation to three inter-related concepts from current salutogenesis theorising including a sense of coherence, generalised resistance resources and healing environments which can facilitate sexual orientation disclosure. Conclusion: Our findings enable a more nuanced approach to understanding disclosure in this context. This study contributes to the literature through its articulation of the salutogenic potential of disclosure (if responded to appropriately) for LGB patients as individuals, in relationship to their partners or carers and the role of creating a visible healing-oriented optimal environment to promote quality of life and recovery.
open access article
Citation : Fish, J., Williamson, I., and Brown, J. (2019) Disclosure in lesbian, gay and bisexual cancer care: towards a salutogenic healthcare environment. BMC Cancer, 19(1), 678.
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes