The Institute of Medicine reports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals having the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and drug use leading to elevated cancer risks. Due to fear of discrimination and lack of healthcare practitioner education, LGBT patients may be more likely to present with advanced stages of cancer resulting in suboptimal palliative care. The purpose of this scoping review is to explore what is known from the existing literature about the barriers to providing culturally competent cancer-related palliative care to LGBT patients. This review will use the five-stage framework for conducting a scoping review developed by Arksey and O’Malley. The PubMed, Scopus, PsychINFO and Cochrane electronic databases were searched resulting in 1,442 citations. Eligibility criteria consisted of all peer-reviewed journal articles in the English language between 2007 and 2020 resulting in 10 manuscripts. Barriers to palliative cancer care for the LGBT include discrimination, criminalisation, persecution, fear, distress, social isolation, disenfranchised grief, bereavement, tacit acknowledgment, homophobia and mistrust of healthcare providers. Limited healthcare-specific knowledge by both providers and patients, poor preparation of legal aspects of advanced care planning and end-of-life care were underprovided to LGBT persons. As a result of these barriers, palliative care is likely to be provided for LGBT patients with cancer in a deficient manner, perpetuating marginalisation and healthcare inequities. Minimal research investigates these barriers and healthcare curriculums do not provide practitioners skills for administering culturally sensitive palliative care to LGBT patients.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.