THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Sexual- or gender-minority (SGM) patients report greater comfort and improved communication with nonverbal collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information in the emergency department, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Adil Haider, M.D., M.P.H., from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a matched cohort study of four emergency departments on the East Coast of the United States to assess the optimal patient-centered approach for SOGI collection. Two different collection approaches were tested between February 2016 and March 2017: nurse verbal collection during the clinical encounter and nonverbal collection during patient registration. Data were included for 540 patients.

The researchers found that the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit scores were significantly better for SGM patients with nonverbal registrar form collection versus nurse verbal collection (mean, 95.6 versus 89.5; P = 0.03). Among non-SGM patients or those with a blank field, there were no significant differences between the two approaches (mean, 91.8 versus 93.2 [P = 0.59] and 92.7 versus 93.6 [P = 0.7], respectively). SGM patients had increased odds of 2.57 for a better Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit score category for form collection versus verbal collection after adjustment for age, race, illness severity, and site.

“Based on these data, we recommend adoption of nonverbal self-report to collect SOGI information in emergency department settings,” the authors write.

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