Efficacy of Tailored Clinic Trainings to Improve Knowledge of Men Who Have Sex With Men Health Needs and Reduce Homoprejudicial Attitudes in South Africa

January 2017 - Structural Prevention

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Tucker, A., Liht, J., de Swardt, G., et al. LGBT Health (December 2016), 3(6): 443–450, e-publication ahead of print. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2016.0055.

This review presented findings from an evaluation of a 2015 training for health care workers, MSM Competency Training, in the Western Cape of South Africa. The training aimed to improve staff knowledge and reduce negative attitudes toward men who have sex with men (MSM). Implemented for 196 clinicians and clinic support staff, the training consisted of eight modules on related topics, including the need to acknowledge MSM and understand their health needs, technical training to enable clinicians to offer appropriate care, and techniques for working sensitively with this stigmatized group. Participants were evaluated via surveys at baseline and post-training on knowledge about MSM and prejudicial attitudes. The results indicated significant improvements in knowledge of MSM and significant reductions in prejudicial attitudes. After the training, knowledge and sensitivity improved for clinic support staff, although this increase was statistically lower as compared to that of clinicians (suggesting a need to develop more ways of improving knowledge among support staff). Overall, the study findings suggested that educating health care workers about stigmatized groups may be effective in reducing negative attitudes toward the group. The study also demonstrated that gaining limited improvements in knowledge is not always associated with a reduction in prejudicial attitudes.

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