Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom: Setting a Research Agenda

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans+a (LGBT+) people report poorer health than the general population and worse experiences of healthcare particularly cancer, palliative/end-of-life, dementia and mental health provision. This is attributable to: a) social inequalities, including ‘minority stress’; b) associated health-risk behaviours (e.g. smoking, excessive drug/alcohol use, obesity); c) loneliness and isolation, affecting physical/mental health and mortality; d) anticipated/experienced discrimination and e) inadequate understandings of needs among healthcare providers. Older LGBT+ people are particularly affected, due to the effects of both cumulative disadvantage and ageing. There is a need for greater and more robust research data to support growing international and national government initiatives aimed at addressing these health inequalities. We identify seven key research strategies: 1) Production of large datasets; 2) Comparative data collection; 3) Addressing diversity and intersectionality among LGBT+ older people; 4) Investigation of healthcare services’ capacity to deliver LGBT+ affirmative healthcare and associated education and training needs; 5) Identification of effective health promotion and/or treatment interventions for older LGBT+ people, and sub-groups within this umbrella category; 6) Development an (older) LGBT+ health equity model; 7) Utilisation of social justice concepts to ensure meaningful, change-orientated data production which will inform and support government policy, health promotion and healthcare interventions.

Description

The file author's final peer reviewed version can be found by following the URI link. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Health Inequalities, Social Determinants, sexual orientation, gender identity, ageing

Citation

Westwood, S., Willis, P., Fish, J., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Semlyen, J., King, A., Beach, B., Almack, K., Kneale, D., Toze, M., Becares, L. (2020) Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom: Setting a Research Agenda. Journal Epidemiology and Community Health, 74, pp.408-411.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care