Javaherian, H., Christy, A., & Boehringer, M. (2008). "Occupational Therapy Practitioner?s Comfort Level and Preparedness in working with Individuals who are Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual." Journal of Allied Health Professions, 37(3), 150-155. ( 11/2008 - 12/2008 )
Occupational therapists and other allied health professionals address diversity with their clients which includes sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to determine occupational therapy practitioners? preparedness and comfort level in working with gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients. A 14-item survey was mailed to 1,051 practitioners in a Midwestern state. Eighty eight were undeliverable and 373 usable surveys were returned yielding a 39% response rate. A majority of the respondents felt prepared and comfortable to work with clients who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual and 48% agreed that sexuality influences occupational choices. Twenty-nine percent agreed that sexual orientation influences occupational therapy treatment. Less than 20% of the respondents however, received education and used inclusive language in their documentation and only 14% reported having resources and supports services for clients who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Effective education and policy-making strategies are necessary to ensure an accepting therapeutic environment and respect for the role of sexual orientation in the intervention process.