DOI: 10.4085/1947-380x-22-084 ISSN:

Student Educational Experiences Relative to Issues Impacting LGBTQPIA+ Patient Care

Lindsey E. Eberman, Sean M. Rogers, Daniel R. Walen, Jessica R. Edler Nye, Emma Nye, Ashley K. Crossway, Zachary K. Winkelmann
  • General Chemical Engineering


Athletic trainers have expressed a lack of knowledge and a desire to learn more about the issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, pansexual, intersex, asexual/aromantic/agender, two-spirit, and additional community/identity (LGBTQPIA+) patients, yet little is known about how students are prepared.


The purpose of this study was to explore educational experiences relative to LGBTQPIA+ patient care in Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education–accredited, master's-level professional athletic training programs.


Cross-sectional study.


Web-based survey.


Students (N = 333) who were currently enrolled in the last 1 to 2 semesters of their respective programs or had recently graduated from a master's-level professional athletic training program within the last year.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

The survey asked participants to characterize and evaluate the effectiveness of their learning experiences, then rank their confidence in addressing the needs of LGBTQPIA+ patients. We used additional open-ended responses to characterize effective instructional strategies. Data were analyzed using statistics of central tendency and open-ended responses were inductively coded.


Participants reported that their learning experiences about LGBTQPIA+ patient needs were moderately effective for formal (38.2%), informal (42.2%), and clinical education (34.0%). Among the areas where participants reported wishing they had learned more were gender incongruence or dysphoria (39.6%), gender-affirming care (43.5%), and providing inclusive health care forms and documentation (38.4%). Participants reported about 15 ± 37 hours (range, 0–500 hours) of time dedicated to LGBTQPIA+ patient issues, although only 23.2% indicated that this was enough time. Participants indicated that they were quite confident in addressing the needs of LGBTQPIA+ patients (mode = 3 [quite confident], 33.0%); however, 53.7% of participants were only somewhat, slightly, or not at all confident. In the open-ended responses, participants indicated that informal and clinical education experiences providing authentic interactions with LGBTQPIA+ patients were most meaningful.


Professional athletic training programs should incorporate more educational experiences to better prepare students to meet the health care needs of LGBTQPIA+ patients. Participants in our study additionally indicated a strong desire to learn more about equitable patient care.

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