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Health promotion and public health
Understanding health disparities among LGBTQ populations and future needs
  1. Sandeep Yerra1,
  2. Pradeep Yarra2
  1. 1 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA
  2. 2 Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pradeep Yarra, Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA; pya227{at}

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Commentary on: Haviland KS, Swette S, Kelechi T, et al. Barriers and facilitators to cancer screening among LGBTQ individuals with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2020;47(1):44–55. doi:10.1188/20.ONF.44-55

Implications for practice and research

  • Nurses have the potential to improve cancer screening among LGBTQ populations, thus addressing healthcare disparities with competency training, better communication and providing a non-judgemental welcoming environment.

  • LGBTQ-focused research, improved funding and national screening guidelines for cancer screening are needed to address existing healthcare disparities.


In the USA, the 2017 Gallup poll results show 11 million Americans or 4.5% of population identify themselves as LGBTQ1 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer). Significant health disparities like cancer screening are reported to be higher with LGBTQ when compared with heterosexual individuals. Lack of data collection regarding sexual orientation or gender identification (SOGI) by the National Cancer Databases or Centers for Disease Control augments the existing disparity in screening for cancers and makes …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.