Graduate School of Nursing Dissertations

Publication Date


Document Type

Dissertation, Doctoral


Graduate School of Nursing

Subject Categories



Dissertations, UMMS; Homosexuality, Female; Homosexuality, Male; Bisexuality; Students; Health Services Needs and Demand; Health Status Indicators; Community-Based Participatory Research


Little is known about the healthcare experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adults (ages 18-24) and even less is known about LGB college students (ages 18-24). Helping LGB college students effectively access appropriate, sensitive healthcare has the potential to reduce negative long-term health consequences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the healthcare experiences of LGB college students (ages 18-24) in the local college community using community-based participatory research (CBPR). Three online synchronous focus groups and one online individual interview were conducted with 19 LGB college students between January and February 2011. The focus groups were segmented into lesbian (n= 7), gay (n= 7), and female bisexual (n = 4) groups. One male bisexual was interviewed individually. The mean age of the sample was 20.7 years (SD = 1.2, range = 19-24). The sample was predominately White non-Hispanic (85%).

Qualitative content analysis was used to describe the healthcare experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual college students in the local community. One overarching theme (not all the same), one main theme (comfort during the clinical encounter), three sub themes (personalizing the clinical encounter, deciding to disclose and social stigma, and seeking support of self-identified sexual orientation) and one preliminary sub theme (perceived confidentiality) emerged from the analysis. One major action emerged from the analysis and supported the development of the social network site (on Facebook) entitled: College Alliance Towards Community Health (CATCH). The mission of CATCH is to provide LGB college students in the local community with a comfortable forum to learn about various healthcare concerns of lesbian, gay, and bisexual college students. Additional implications for nursing practice and implications for further research in the LGB college community are addressed.

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