Purpose: Lack of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) cultural competence in healthcare providers contributes to poor health outcomes in individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more (LGBTQIA+). However, SOGI is often overlooked in healthcare education. Existing research shows educational programs in the nursing, medical, and pharmacy professions are incorporating cultural competence training into the curricula. Few studies have explored how SOGI cultural competence is incorporated into occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) curricula. Clear guidelines for training on SOGI cultural competence are lacking in these professions. It is important to identify how OT, PT, and SLP educational programs are preparing students to provide culturally competent care to LGBTQIA+ individuals. This scoping review summarizes existing research on this topic and identifies gaps in the literature. Method: A scoping review methodological framework (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005; Levac et al., 2010) was used to search six databases. Descriptive numerical summary and qualitative analysis were used to summarize and interpret the results. Results: A total of 1,091 articles were included in the original search. After the initial title and abstract screening, 55 articles remained. In total, nine articles met the inclusion criteria for this scoping review. Quantitative results describe variation in study participants, SOGI populations, the type and purpose of training, and outcome measures used. Qualitative themes related to SOGI cultural competence include assessment of student and faculty knowledge, and the perceptions and evaluation of course content. Gaps in the literature include long-term changes in knowledge, skills, and dispositions of students; the need for clinical workshops, the quality of self-report in education, outcomes of training programs, and effectiveness of voice training for transgender clients. Conclusions: The benefits of including SOGI cultural competence in the healthcare curricula include increased student knowledge, confidence, sensitivity, cultural competence, and improved attitudes toward LGBTQIA+ individuals. Additional research is needed to develop and standardize training on SOGI cultural competence in the OT, PT, and SLP curricula.

Author Bio(s)

Author Bio(s)

Kristin Willey, OTD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, former Assistant Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator in the Occupational Science and Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University.

Jennifer Fortuna, PhD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist and Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy program at Colorado Mesa University

Jessica Guerra, Amanda Gross, Samantha Turner, and Tara Grant, are graduate students in the Occupational Science and Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University.

Betsy Williams, MSLIS is a Health Professions Librarian in the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University.


The authors would like to acknowledge Miriam Teft, MBA, RDMS, RVT. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise during the completion of this research project.




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