Self-Perceived Discrimination in LGBT Population in Oral Health Services. Medellin, Colombia: A Qualitative Approach

  •  Santiago Alzate-Urrea    
  •  Andres Agudelo-Suarez    
  •  James Monsalve-Orrego    
  •  Flor Londono-Candanoza    
  •  Geidy del Chinome-Florez    
  •  Aida Julio-Perez    
  •  Luisa Arias-Durango    
  •  Karen Perez-Torres    


INTRODUCTION: We aim to understand the perception about discrimination within the LGBT population when accessing oral health services, from their perspective as well as that of the oral health professional.

METHODS: A qualitative study from a phenomenological perspective was conducted by means of 37 in-depth interwiews (19 in health service providers and 18 in LGBT members). The script used in the interview included questions related to discrimination in social spaces, quality of life and its relationship with health, access to general and oral health care and proposals and strategies. Verbatim was transcripted and narrative content analysis was carried out for identifying meaning codes and after grouped through emergent categories. Atlas.Ti 6.0 software was used.

RESULTS: Five categories within the participants’ discourses were identified: (1) Characteristics of LGBT population: This is a heterogeneous group (physical‚ social and cultural); (2) Quality of life (QOL), health related quality of life (HRQOL) and oral health related quality of life (OHRQOL): QOL is defined as the ability to enjoy opportunities in the human life process under equity conditions; HRQOL is related to an adequate access to health services‚ and OHRQOL as the appropriate state of the structures of the stomatognathic system; (3) Discrimination as a concept and experiences: People conceived discrimination as the act pejorative to someone because of a particular situation. Participants identified some types of discrimination in social spaces; (4) Accessibility to health services: Participants related individual and structural barriers when accessing to public health services; (5) Proposals and strategies: Interviewers suggested some educative strategies and social policies to reduce the endogenous and exogenous discrimination.

CONCLUSIONS: The LGBT population is vulnerable to perceive experiences of discrimination and this situation causes a negative impact on their quality of life.

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