This chapter addresses the shortcomings of current self-efficacy models describing the health information practices of LGBTQIA+ communities. Informed by semi-structured interviews with 30 LGBTQIA+ community leaders from South Carolina, findings demonstrate how their self-efficacy operates beyond HIV/AIDS research while complicating traditional models that isolate an individual’s health information practices from their abundant communal experiences. Findings also suggest that participants engage with health information and resources in ways deemed unhealthy or harmful by healthcare providers. However, such practices are nuanced, and participants carefully navigate them, balancing concerns for community safety and well-being over traditional engagements with healthcare infrastructures. These findings have implications for public and health librarianship when providing LGBTQIA+ communities with health information. Practitioners must comprehend how the collective meanings, values, and lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ communities inform how they create, seek, share, and use health information to engage in successful informational interventions for community health promotion. Otherwise, practitioners risk embracing approaches that apply decontextualized, deficit-based understandings of these health information practices, and lack community relevance.
Postprint version. Published in Roles and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities, Volume 47, 2020, pages 263-282.
© Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021