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Health4LGBTI: Reducing health inequalities experienced by LGBTI people

July 19th 2018

LGBTI people continue to experience stigma and discrimination combined with social isolation and limited understanding, leading to significant barriers in terms of accessing health and social care services. These experiences can translate into a risk of depression, suicide and self‐harm, violence, substance misuse and HIV infection.

Implemented between March 2016 and March 2018, the aim of this pilot project was to improve our understanding of how best to reduce specific health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people. It focused on overlapping inequalities stemming from discrimination and unfair treatment on other grounds (e.g. age, status, income).

Project implementation

The Health4LGBTI project activities included:

  • Research (scoping review, scientific review, focus groups) into health needs and challenges faced by LGBTI people and key barriers faced by health professionals when providing care for LGBTI people.
  • Development of a training package aimed at increasing the knowledge, attitudes and skills of healthcare professionals when providing healthcare to LGBTI people.
  • Piloting of the training package in 6 EU countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and UK).
  • A final European conference in Brussels on 1-2 February 2018 presenting the results of the project.

For more information on this EC project, including the project outputs, see here.

ILGA Europe participation

As part of a consortium led by the Verona University Hospital, and including EuroHealthNet, the University of Brighton and the National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene in Poland, they published a state-of-the-art study on the health inequalities experienced by LGBTI people, which also clearly identified the barriers health professionals face in providing LGBTI people with appropriate healthcare. Focus groups were undertaken in 6 EU member states to map barriers faced both by LGBTI people and healthcare professionals. Visit ILGA Europe project page for an overview of key findings

In a second step, project partners set out to develop training modules and a trainers’ manual to better equip health professionals to provide healthcare to LGBTI people. The training package was piloted in the 6 countries to assess their effectiveness. Throughout all project stages ILGA-Europe relied very much on member organisations’ expertise and input and this is another opportunity for us to warmly thank you all for the great work and involvement.

The training package is now finally available! It is the first time that training modules have been developed by LGBTI activists, academics and health experts together at European level. They have been piloted in different contexts and in all countries, the evaluation has shown that knowledge, attitudes and skills of healthcare trainees had improved after the training. We truly hope that the trainings can have a real impact on the ground and can support LGBTI organisations in their ongoing work of awareness-raising and sensitisation of health care professionals regarding the discrimination LGBTI people still face when visiting a doctor or entering a hospital today. We will from our end work closely with EU institutions, the Council of Europe, health organisations and other partners to identify and make use of all possible opportunities to disseminate the training package. And we do hope you will find the training a useful resource too.

Via ILGA Europe blogpost: The Health4LGBTI project, a key tool towards respectful and inclusive healthcare

Visit ILGA Europe project page