Attitude is a descision


Background: Worldwide, everybody knows that Amsterdam is the gay-capital of Europe. Gays from all over the world come to our country to celebrate their sexual orientation with other gays. But are the Dutch people as tolerant as we all think they are? When gay people have to go to a hospital for psychiatric care, do they get the same approach as heterosexual people? How do nurses react on the sexual orientation of their psychiatric patients? How do nurses tend to act, during the nursing treatment, once they found out that their patients are gay? An answer to this question has been found with this quantitative study. Aims: The aim of this paper is to report a study that investigated the attitudes of nurses towards lesbians and gay men.

Method: Before the study started, an international literature review has been done, which showed that nurses in the United States and Sweden had problems with homosexual patients. There were also different opinions about the reasons why people become homosexual. This research tried to point out how nurses took care of homosexual patients. The study had a descriptive, comparative design and was conducted in the Netherlands, in a hospital for psychiatric patients. The participants were registered nurses from one psychiatric clinic in the east of the Netherlands. Participants were approached through e-mail, which contained a link to an online questionnaire which they were asked to fill in. From the approximately 800 nurses that were approached, 476 completed the questionnaire, which shows a response rate of 59,5%. The questionnaire contained a five point Likert-scale to measure the tolerance towards homosexuality. Every question was to be answered with an answer ranging from totally disagree, to totally agree. This validated scale was used several times to measure the tolerance of the Dutch community.

Results: In general, nurses expressed positive attitudes towards homosexual patients. The most common belief about the cause of homosexuality was that it was congenital. Main outcomes of the study were as follows; education level and/or sex doesn’t/ don’t influence the attitude towards homosexuality in psychiatric health care. And nurses were not clearly positive or negative towards starting a conversation about the sexual orientation of their patients.

In kader van:
Masterprogramma Advances Nursing Practice van opleidingsinstelling GGZ VS
Duur van het onderzoek:
januari 2010 tot juni 2011
Nico Assink