Health status, health behaviours and healthcare access of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations in Turkey

Ercan Şahin N., Asian F., Emiroğlu O. N.

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF CARING SCIENCES, vol.34, no.1, pp.239-246, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/scs.12759
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, AgeLine, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.239-246
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience many barriers to healthcare access and health disparities because of societal stigma, discrimination and homophobia by the community and healthcare providers. Therefore, this sexual minority group poses a risk for poor health status. Aims To determine the health status, health behaviours and healthcare access among LGBT individuals in Turkey. Methods The study was conducted on 140 self-identified LGBT individuals in Turkey between 11 April and 15 July 2016 as a descriptive, electronical survey design. Data were collected by questionnaire form, developed based on the researchers' review of the literature. Results The results of this study revealed that 65% of LGBT participants self-reported that their mental health status was 'poor/fair' while 69% of participants reported that their physical health was 'good/excellent'. Most of them had smoking (60%), using alcohol (76.3%) and did unprotected sex (55.3%) and reported disclosing their LGBT status to the healthcare provider (90.6%); 48.6% of participants thought that disclosing their LGBT status would affect their treatment. Barriers to healthcare access included disclosing LGBT status, societal stigma, negative attitude of healthcare provider, dissatisfaction with healthcare, and lack of health insurance and financial resources. Conclusions These results can assist healthcare providers, especially nurses as critical members of this group, to serve LGBT individuals satisfactorily. Besides, it is expected that these results will shed light on new research.