Introducing LGBTIQ+ content into the physiotherapy program

Activity: Scholarly activities in Learning and Teaching reflectionProfessional and scholarly communities reflection


Introducing LGBTIQ+ content into the Physiotherapy program. ‘We know that poor physical and mental health are pervasive in the LGBTIQ+ population, and that unequal access to healthcare, and discriminatory treatment, continue to exist for LGBTIQ+ people’ (Ross et al., 2019). Research shows that LGBTIQ+ people may experience or fear, discrimination related to their sexuality and/or gender identity when attending physiotherapy. Physiotherapists may make assumptions about gender and sexuality and due to the intimate nature of physiotherapy practice involving, undressing, palpation and close observation of movement, may unintentionally make people feel uncomfortable and avoid physiotherapy. Without the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ content within physiotherapy entry-level education there also may be a lack of knowledge about specific health issue specific to LGBTQIA+ population. During 2019-2022 a scaffolded approach based on the Indigenous Cultural Competency Framework was used to review and introduce LGBTIQ+ content into the physiotherapy program at Charles Sturt University. Staff were encouraged to attend Ally training and use pronouns on zoom profile and email signatures. There was a review of teaching content including the review of clinical case studies used in teaching for diversity of people and the use of pronouns within the cases throughout the course. In first year, a clinical case study was altered to introduce the concept of preferred names, a specific lecture on diversity was presented and some students completed a presentation on Gender Diversity and inclusivity in healthcare. In third year, specific issues involving palpation and touch and consent were reviewed in the acute care and musculoskeletal subjects and a new Gender Health topic area was developed in the new subject PHS306, Exploring the Breath of Physiotherapy Practice. This podcast will also present survey responses exploring the student perspective on the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ content within the physiotherapy course at Charles Sturt University.
PeriodNov 2022
Event titleCSEdX Academic Program: Connected and Curious: teaching for inclusion and engagement.
Event typeOnline presentation
LocationAustraliaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • physiotherapy
  • Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)