Choosing a Healthcare Provider: Gay Men’s Narratives




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A body of health research indicates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community has a lower life expectancy due to health disparities and obstacles unique to the LGBT experience. Health communication research has shown that patients’ relationships with their primary care physicians can have strong influences on their health outcomes. This study seeks to answer the research question, “How does a gay/bisexual man’s relationship with his doctor influence his level of personal disclosure with his physician regarding health?” Through a survey of men who self-identify as gay or bisexual, links to the online survey were distributed by a snowball sampling through LGBT groups on Facebook and prominent LGBT organizations and activists on Twitter. Respondents completed a survey examining their demographic characteristics, their relationships with their primary care physician, and the health issues they have disclosed to their healthcare providers. A mixed method research design was used to address the research question, which asks whether or not a gay man’s choice of primary care physician plays an important role in the information he is willing to disclose about his health to that same person.



Gay men, Health disparities, Coming out, Primary care physician