The health and well-being of LGBTQ serving and ex-serving personnel: a narrative review

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Abstract

The relaxation of discriminatory policies against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) service personnel has led to increased diversity among military populations. Given this increase, it is important to assess sexual and gender minority groups’ health and well-being in the context of military service. This narrative review assessed these outcomes in LGBTQ military personnel. The electronic databases OVID Medline, PsycInfo, and Embase were searched for papers published between January 2000 and July 2018. Thirty papers were included. In line with life course model, studies aligned with four themes: (1) mental health and well-being; (2) stigma and healthcare utilization; (3) sexual trauma; and (4) physical health. These themes highlighted that LGBTQ military personnel and veterans have poorer mental health and well-being; report more stigma and barriers to mental healthcare, which reduces uptake of accessed healthcare services; experience more sexual trauma; and have poorer physical health than heterosexual military personnel and veterans. However, there are substantial gaps in the current evidence for this population. Future research should aim to address limitations of the literature, and to ensure that data on LGBTQ personnel and veterans is collected as standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-94
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • LGBTQ
  • military personnel
  • review
  • veterans
  • well-being

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