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Using interactive theatre to help fertility providers better understand sexual and gender minority patients
  1. Lesley A Tarasoff1,2,
  2. Rachel Epstein3,
  3. Datejie C Green4,
  4. Scott Anderson5,
  5. Lori E Ross1,2
  1. 1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3LGBTQ Parenting Network, Sherbourne Health Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4CATIE, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Canadian Media Guild, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Lesley A Tarasoff, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, 6th floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 3M7; esley.tarasoff{at}utoronto.ca

Abstract

Objective To determine the effectiveness of interactive theatre as a knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) method to educate assisted human reproduction (AHR) service providers about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) patients.

Design We transformed data from the ‘Creating Our Families’ study, a qualitative, community-based study of LGBTQ peoples’ experiences accessing AHR services, into a script for an interactive theatre workshop for AHR service providers. Based on forum theatre principles, our workshop included five scenes illustrating LGBTQ people interacting with service providers, followed by audience interventions to these scenes. Before and after the workshop, service providers completed surveys to assess their knowledge and comfort concerning LGBTQ patients, as well as the modality of the interactive theatre workshop as a KTE strategy. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to determine changes in preworkshop and postworkshop knowledge and comfort scores.

Results Thirty AHR service providers attended the workshop. Twenty-three service providers (76.7%) fully completed the preworkshop and postworkshop evaluation forms. Service providers’ knowledge scores significantly improved after the workshop, while their comfort scores minimally decreased. Most agreed that the interactive workshop was an effective KTE method.

Conclusions In comparison with traditional forms of KTE, interactive theatre may be particularly effective in engaging service providers and addressing their attitudes towards marginalised patient populations. Although the evaluation results of our interactive workshop were mostly positive, the long-term impact of the workshop is unknown. Long-term evaluations are needed to determine the effectiveness of arts-based KTE efforts. Other considerations for developing effective arts-based KTE strategies include adequate funding, institutional support, attention to power dynamics and thoughtful collaboration with forum theatre experts.

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