LGBTQIA+ people experience discrimination when accessing healthcare. We investigated specific experiences of LGBTQIA+ people with Parkinson’s disease (PwP) as they are less known.
Data were obtained from Fox Insight for PwP identifying as LGBTQIA+ (n=210), cisgender, heterosexual women (n=2,373) or cisgender, heterosexual men (n=2,453). Discrimination in Medical Settings Scale responses and reports of whether gender identity or sexual orientation played a role in the perceived discrimination were compared across the groups.
Parkinson’s diagnosis age was youngest for LGBTQIA+ PwP. Despite similar levels of education with cisgender, heterosexual men, LGBTQIA+ people had lower levels of income and were more likely to be unemployed. Cisgender, heterosexual women and LGBTQIA+ PwP reported greater discrimination than cisgender, heterosexual men. Compared to cisgender, heterosexual men; LGBTQIA+ people (25%) and cisgender, heterosexual women (20%) were more likely to report their gender impacted how they were treated; LGBTQIA+ PwP (19%) were more likely to report their sexual orientation impacted how they were treated.
Women and LGBTQIA+ PwP may be at a higher risk for discrimination in medical settings. Facing disparities while receiving healthcare based on their gender or sexual orientation can impact the healthcare utilization of PwP. Healthcare providers should consider their behaviors and interactions with PwP to ensure inclusive and welcoming healthcare environments.