Special Issue "Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Catherine Meads Website E-Mail
School of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
Interests: Sexual orientation and health, LGBT health and wellbeing, systematic reviews in complex interventions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organising a Special Issue on sexual orientation, gender identity, and health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This is a peer-reviewed scientific journal (Impact factor 2.145) that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health (broadly defined). For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Improving the health of specific populations is an important objective for service planners, policy-makers, public health officials, and care delivery staff. Enhancing public health means preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical, mental, and social well-being. This is especially important for disadvantaged minority groups such as people of minority sexual orientation and gender identity populations, for which there is robust evidence of considerable health inequities. Improving health and wellbeing is an important objective for all who aspire to reducing health inequities (inequalities that are considered preventable). It is important to understand various factors that contribute to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and similar (LGBT+) groups’ mental and physical health and the mediators and moderators of these factors. This Special Issue is open to any subject area regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and related physical or mental health and wellbeing. We are particularly interested in areas where little previous research has been published, such as interventions for LGBT+ populations to improve mental and physical health and health behaviours, evidence-based approaches to inclusive services, and longitudinal studies on the long-term health impact of exogenous hormones in trans people. The listed keywords suggest just a few of many other possibilities. We will consider systematic reviews and primary qualitative or quantitative researches.

Prof. Catherine Meads
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • LGBT
  • Intersectionality issues
  • Wellbeing
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Trauma, grief, and loss
  • Behaviours and risks
  • Social determinants
  • Health behaviour and health seeking
  • Quality of life
  • Resilience
  • Empowerment
  • Social justice
  • Self-efficacy
  • Holistic approaches
  • Health knowledge, attitudes, practice
  • Health literacy
  • Human and civil rights
  • Social inclusion and sense of community
  • Social participation
  • Community participation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Romantic Attraction and Substance Use in 15-Year-Old Adolescents from Eight European Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173063 - 23 Aug 2019
Abstract
Sexual minority youth are at higher risk of substance use than heterosexual youth. However, most evidence in this area is from North America, and it is unclear whether the findings can be generalized to other cultures and countries. In this investigation, we used [...] Read more.
Sexual minority youth are at higher risk of substance use than heterosexual youth. However, most evidence in this area is from North America, and it is unclear whether the findings can be generalized to other cultures and countries. In this investigation, we used data from the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study to compare substance use in same- and both-gender attracted 15-year-old adolescents from eight European countries (n = 14,545) to that of their peers who reported opposite-gender attraction or have not been romantically attracted to anyone. Both-gender attracted, and to a lesser extent, same-gender attracted adolescents were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, get drunk and use cannabis, or be involved in multiple substance use in the last 30 days compared to their opposite-gender attracted peers. Those adolescents who have not been in love had significantly lower odds for substance use than all other youth. The pattern of results remained the same after adjusting for country, gender and family affluence. These findings are compatible with the minority stress and romantic stress theories. They suggest that sexual minority stigma (and love on its own) may contribute to higher substance use among adolescents in European countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
Open AccessArticle
Sexually Transmitted Infections and Associated Factors in Homosexuals and Bisexuals in Granada (Spain) during the Period 2000–2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162958 - 16 Aug 2019
Abstract
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health issue. Previous research shows the vulnerability of the homosexual and bisexual population, as well as the influence of economic, political, and cultural determinants. The aim of this study was to describe the socio-demographic healthcare [...] Read more.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health issue. Previous research shows the vulnerability of the homosexual and bisexual population, as well as the influence of economic, political, and cultural determinants. The aim of this study was to describe the socio-demographic healthcare profile and the main risk factors associated with STIs in homosexuals and bisexuals seen at the STI clinic in Granada (Spain) during the years 2000–2015. Infection prevalences were compared between the economic crisis period (2008–2014) and the rest of the years analysed. A cross-sectional observational and analytical study was conducted by reviewing 261 clinical records of individuals with suspected or present infection. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were performed. 91.2% of the individuals were men, and 8.8% were women, with the mean age being 28.61 (SD = 9.35, Range = 17–74) years old. The prevailing sexual orientation identity was homosexual. 94.2% were single. The main reason for consultation was HIV. Differences in prevalence were found between crisis and non-crisis years (OR = 3.91; 95% CI = 1.73–9.19). In conclusion, their profile was that of a young, single man suspecting possible HIV infection. STI prevalence was significantly higher in the years of economic recession in comparison to the rest of the years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
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Open AccessArticle
LGBT+ Health Teaching within the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132305 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Introduction: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) population experience health and social inequalities, including discrimination within healthcare services. There is a growing international awareness of the importance of providing healthcare professionals and students with dedicated training on LGBT+ health. Methods: We introduced [...] Read more.
Introduction: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) population experience health and social inequalities, including discrimination within healthcare services. There is a growing international awareness of the importance of providing healthcare professionals and students with dedicated training on LGBT+ health. Methods: We introduced a compulsory teaching programme in a large London-based medical school, including a visit from a transgender patient. Feedback was collected across four years, before (n = 433) and after (n = 541) the session. Student confidence in using appropriate terminology and performing a clinical assessment on LGBT+ people was assessed with five-point Likert scales. Fisher exact tests were used to compare the proportion responding “agree” or “strongly agree”. Results: Of the students, 95% (CI 93–97%) found the teaching useful with 97% (96–99%) finding the visitor’s input helpful. Confidence using appropriate terminology to describe sexual orientation increased from 62% (58–67%) to 93% (91–95%) (Fisher p < 0.001) and gender identity from 41% (36–46%) to 91% (88–93%) (p < 0.001). Confidence in the clinical assessment of a lesbian, gay or bisexual patient increased from 75% (71–79%) to 93% (90–95%) (p < 0.001), and of a transgender patient from 35% (31–40%) to 84% (80–87%) (p < 0.001). Discussion: This teaching programme, written and delivered in collaboration with the LGBT+ community, increases students’ confidence in using appropriate language related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and in the clinical assessment of LGBT+ patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
Open AccessArticle
Interpersonal Sensitivity and Loneliness among Chinese Gay Men: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112039 - 08 Jun 2019
Abstract
To understand the current status of, and factors related to interpersonal sensitivity (IS) and loneliness among Chinese gay men. The Chinese version SCL-90-R was used to evaluate the status of IS, and the short-form UCLA Loneliness scale (ULS-8) was used for assessing loneliness [...] Read more.
To understand the current status of, and factors related to interpersonal sensitivity (IS) and loneliness among Chinese gay men. The Chinese version SCL-90-R was used to evaluate the status of IS, and the short-form UCLA Loneliness scale (ULS-8) was used for assessing loneliness level. Associations between demographics and IS were examined by chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regress analysis. Linear regression was used to assess the correlations between demographic factors and IS and loneliness. Dating practices and venues were summarized by multiple responses. Gay men who screened positive IS was identified in 36%. Age (OR25–29 = 8.731, 95% CI 2.296 to 33.139), education level (ORcollege = 0.037, 95% CI 0.046 to 0.911), being the only-child at home (ORyes = 4.733, 95% CI 2.293 to 9.733), monthly income (OR>7000 = 0.228, 95% CI 0.055 to 0.944), numbers of current sexual partners (OR1 = 0.285, 95% CI 0.129 to 0.629; OR2 = 0.109 95% CI 0.027 to 0.431) were related to IS. IS was also associated with a higher score of ULS-8 (β = 6.903, p < 0.001). Other variables associated with the score of ULS-8 included: living in a non-nuclear family (β = 0.998, p = 0.020), being a college student (β = −1.556, p = 0.044), having a higher monthly income (β for 3000–5000 yuan = −1.177, p = 0.045; β for over 7000 yuan = −2.207, p = 0.002), having sexual partners (all β < 1, p < 0.001), being the only-child (β = 1.393, p = 0.005). Nearly half of the sample (46.78%) reported that they looked for dating partners on the Internet or dating apps. IS and loneliness are positively correlated. Our study suggests that more humanistic care and social support should be given to Chinese gay men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Lifetime Medical Conditions and Infectious Diseases by Sexual Identity, Attraction, and Concordance among Women: Results from a National U.S. Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081399 - 18 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
There have been limited studies assessing the differences in chronic health conditions between sexual minority (those who identify as lesbian or bisexual) and sexual majority (heterosexual) women. Research has primarily focused on overall physical and mental health or behavioral issues and not on [...] Read more.
There have been limited studies assessing the differences in chronic health conditions between sexual minority (those who identify as lesbian or bisexual) and sexual majority (heterosexual) women. Research has primarily focused on overall physical and mental health or behavioral issues and not on specific health conditions. The addition of sexual orientation and attraction questions to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) now allows for research regarding health conditions using a national survey that identifies participant sexual orientation and attraction. This study sought to compare the prevalence/odds of having 10 medical conditions/infectious diseases among women, assessing for differences associated with sexual identity, sexual attraction, and the degree of concordance between sexual identity and attraction. Data from 67,648 adult female participants in the 2015–2017 NSDUH survey were analyzed using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models to assess for differences in prevalence/odds of seven medical conditions. Multivariable models adjusted for demographics, substance abuse/dependence, and mental illness. We found significant differences by sexual identity, but not sexual attraction or concordance. Compared with heterosexually identified women, women who identified as bisexual had significantly higher odds of having three medical conditions and two infectious diseases than heterosexual or lesbian women. The findings generally support those based on studies using more limited geographical samples. There are a number of potential associated and underlying factors that contribute to bisexual women reporting overall poorer health than heterosexual or lesbian women. The factors discussed include stigma, delays in seeking care, lack of insurance and access, and sexual minority women receiving poorer health care generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)

Review

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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of Sexual Minority Women’s Experiences of Health Care in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173032 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
Sexual minority women (SMW) experience worse health and disproportionate behavioural risks to health than heterosexual women. This mixed-methods systematic review evaluated recent studies on health experiences of UK SMW, published 2010–2018. Analysis was through narrative thematic description and synthesis. Identified were 23,103 citations, [...] Read more.
Sexual minority women (SMW) experience worse health and disproportionate behavioural risks to health than heterosexual women. This mixed-methods systematic review evaluated recent studies on health experiences of UK SMW, published 2010–2018. Analysis was through narrative thematic description and synthesis. Identified were 23,103 citations, 26 studies included, of which 22 provided qualitative and nine quantitative results. SMW had worse health experiences that might impact negatively on access, service uptake and health outcomes. Findings highlighted significant barriers facing SMW, including heteronormative assumptions, perceptions and experiences of negative responses to coming out, ignorance and prejudice from healthcare professionals, and barriers to raising concerns or complaints. Little information was available about bisexual and trans women’s issues. Findings highlighted the need for explicit and consistent education for healthcare professionals on SMW issues, and stronger application of non-discrimination policies in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
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