COMMENTARY

Clinical Cases: LGBTQ Youth

Henry H. Ng, MD

Disclosures

December 03, 2010

In This Article

Case Presentation #1: KG

You are seeing KG, a 15-year-old girl, for a post-hospitalization follow-up visit. You have seen her twice in the past for asthma and upper respiratory infections. She was hospitalized recently for 4 days in the pediatric intensive care unit for an apparent drug overdose. She ingested 30 tablets of ibuprofen. She was medically stabilized and was discharged home.

Today, when you see her, you ask how she is feeling and what led up to her taking the pills. KG reports that she felt sad and upset because another girl at school had "broken up with her." On further interview, you find that KG is attracted to females, but does not yet identify as lesbian, nor has she been sexually active with males. You obtain permission to speak with her mother, who is aware of her daughter's same-sex attractions and relationship. Her mother confirms the recent events and is aware and supportive of her daughter's relationships, but she is concerned for KG's ongoing depression. You leave the exam room and consider the resources available to you in your community to support your patient.

Questions to consider:

  • How does one ask about sexual behaviors, gender identity, and sexual orientation in a culturally sensitive manner?

  • What does this patient require in terms of anticipatory guidance or further education?

  • What health resources are available to her to reduce risks for illness and promote health?

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