Training Mental Health Providers in Queer-Affirming Care: A Systematic Review

Jay Bettergarcia, Em Matsuno, Kristin J. Conover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of training for mental health professionals to increase queer-affirming (e.g., lesbian,gay, bisexual, pansexual) cultural competencies has not been well established. Though there is an assumption that training generally works to increase or improve knowledge, attitudes, and skills, it is unclear what training format, content, and pedagogical approaches are effective. To explore the effectiveness of cultural competency training interventions for mental health professionals, a systematic review of peer-reviewed empirical articles in English published between 2000 and 2020 was conducted.Studies were selected for inclusion if the article was empirical, evaluated a training or education related to working with queer clients, and participants were mental health providers or graduate level trainees.Independent data extraction was conducted by using predefined thematic content areas, including information about the research method, training content, training format, measures, outcomes, and recommendations.Data was reviewed for 13 studies and training duration varied from 1 hr to 1 year. Most studies measured knowledge, and some measured attitudes, skills, and self-efficacy. There is some evidence that queer cultural competency training helps to improve self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and skills for mental health professionals. However, given several limitations, including a lack of studies and various methodological challenges, clear conclusions cannot be made about the effectiveness of queer cultural competency training for mental health professionals, more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-377
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • LGB
  • cultural competence
  • sexual minority
  • systematic review
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)


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