Curricular initiatives that enhance student knowledge and perceptions of sexual and gender minority groups: a critical interpretive synthesis

  • Jennifer Desrosiers University of Otago
  • Tim J Wilkinson University of Otago
  • Gillian Abel University of Otago
  • Suzanne Pitama University of Otago
Keywords: Medical Education, LGBT, Curriculum, Cultural Competence

Abstract

Background: There is no accepted best practice for optimizing tertiary student knowledge, perceptions, and skills to care for sexual and gender diverse groups. The objective of this research was to synthesize the relevant literature regarding effective curricular initiatives designed to enhance tertiary level student knowledge, perceptions, and skills to care for sexual and gender diverse populations.

Methods: A modified Critical Interpretive Synthesis using a systematic search strategy was conducted in 2015. This method was chosen to synthesize the relevant qualitative and quantitative literature as it allows for the depth and breadth of information to be captured and new constructs to be illuminated. Databases searched include AMED, CINAHL EBM Reviews, ERIC, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Nursing Database, PsychInfo, and Google Scholar. 

Results: Thirty-one articles were included in this review. Curricular initiatives ranging from discrete to multimodal approaches have been implemented. Successful initiatives included discrete sessions with time for processing, and multi-modal strategies. Multi-modal approaches that encouraged awareness of one’s lens and privilege in conjunction with facilitated communication seemed the most effective.

Conclusions: The literature is limited to the evaluation of explicit curricula. The wider cultural competence literature offers further insight by highlighting the importance of broad and embedded forces including social influences, the institutional climate, and the implicit, or hidden, curriculum. A combined interpretation of the complementary cultural competence and sexual and gender diversity literature provides a novel understanding of the optimal content and context for the delivery of a successful curricular initiative.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Desrosiers, University of Otago
Jen is a Lecturer in the Department of Population Health at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tim J Wilkinson, University of Otago
Tim Wilkinson is the Director of the MB ChB program (Faculty of Medicine) and the Deputy Dean (Christchurch) at the University of Otago, New Zealand
Gillian Abel, University of Otago
Gillian Abel is an Associate Professor and Head of Department in the Department of Population Health at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Suzanne Pitama, University of Otago
Suzanne Pitama (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Whare) is the Associate Dean Maori, Director of the Maori/Indigenous Health Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Published
2016-10-18
How to Cite
Desrosiers, J., Wilkinson, T. J., Abel, G., & Pitama, S. (2016). Curricular initiatives that enhance student knowledge and perceptions of sexual and gender minority groups: a critical interpretive synthesis. Canadian Medical Education Journal, 7(2), e121-138. https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.36644
Section
Review Papers and Meta-Analyses