Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

First Advisor

Jessa Hulteng


The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) population is growing in America and in recent years has shown an increase in equal rights and societal acceptance (Newport, 2018). However, despite the positive changes that have been made, the LGBTQ population is still underserved in healthcare and faces health disparities (Dean, Victor, & Grimes, 2016; Institute of Medicine, 2011). This may be due to the fact that medical professionals receive little to no education regarding LGBTQ care, which can result in misconceptions, discomfort, and use of microaggressions towards the population. (Beagan, Chiasson, Fiske, Forseth, Hosein, Myers, & Stang, 2013; Utamsingh, Kenya, Lebron, & Carrasquillo, 2017).

The research and education that is presented for healthcare professionals on the LGBTQ population is limited, and there are limited resources for healthcare professionals to use to increase their knowledge and cultural competence on the population. Because of these issues, an extensive literature review was conducted to address the following: 1) LGBTQ terms and definitions; 2) demographics; 3) identified healthcare disparities; 4) national initiatives and policies; and 5) occupational therapy’s role when working with LGBTQ clients. In addition, the director of the Pride Center at the University of North Dakota was consulted to gain information and resources regarding the population.

The result of this scholarly project is a curriculum that can be utilized by health programs to facilitate learning opportunities for students to increase cultural competency with the LGBTQ population in a safe learning environment. It is important to address these issues at the educational level, so healthcare students feel comfortable and are educated on the population prior to entering the workforce.