GCPH shares evidence review of LGBT+ health and wellbeing

A Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) project has shared an evidence review of LGBT+ health and wellbeing that shows LGBT+ groups are more likely to experience health inequalities and stress.

’Examining the social determinants of LGBT+ health and wellbeing’ - written by the University of Glasgow based GCPH in collaboration with LGBT Health and Wellbeing, presents a scoping review of evidence, unmet health needs and policy recommendations.

The studies reviewed demonstrate that LGBT+ groups experience mental and physical health inequalities and life course discrimination, microaggressions and minority stress.

Public health has long investigated health inequalities between social groups. However, examination of the social determinants of the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other identity (LGBT+) groups, in comparison to the wider population, has occupied a lower status within public health research and policy agendas.

This omission is in part explained by a lack of routine data on the LGBT+ population in the UK, but may also be underpinned by the prevailing heteronormative culture that exists within scientific, medical, and public health professions.

The project set out to identify the types of available evidence concerning the social determinants of LGBT+ health and unmet public health needs experienced by members of the LGBT+ community, and clarify key themes, concepts, and definitions in the literature.

It also examined how research is conducted which investigates the health and wellbeing of the LGBT+ community, and how inequalities and unmet needs are determined and evidenced.

In addition to identifying and analysing knowledge gaps within the current evidence base, it provided insight to guide future research on this topic, including a systematic review.

Policy recommendations included improving public health surveillance of LGBT+ health and inequalities; development of national public education campaigns highlighting these inequalities and discrimination; continuation of and further development of preventative mental health support specifically targeting LGBT+ adolescents, LGBT+ older people and transgender people; embedding adequate, regular, up-to-date training on LGBT+ health inequalities and barriers to accessing services across public services.