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Effectiveness, Acceptability, and Feasibility of Digital Health Interventions for LGBTIQ+ Young People: Systematic Review

Gilbey, D., Morgan, H., Lin, A. and Perry, Y. (2020) Effectiveness, Acceptability, and Feasibility of Digital Health Interventions for LGBTIQ+ Young People: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22 (12). Art. e20158.

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Background: Young people (aged 12-25 years) with diverse sexuality, gender, or bodily characteristics, such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or queer (LGBTIQ+), are at substantially greater risk of a range of mental, physical, and sexual health difficulties compared with their peers. Digital health interventions have been identified as a potential way to reduce these health disparities.

Objective: This review aims to summarize the characteristics of existing evidence-based digital health interventions for LGBTIQ+ young people and to describe the evidence for their effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using internet databases and gray literature sources, and the results were screened for inclusion. The included studies were synthesized qualitatively.

Results: The search identified 38 studies of 24 unique interventions seeking to address mental, physical, or sexual health–related concerns in LGBTIQ+ young people. Substantially more evidence-based interventions existed for gay and bisexual men than for any other population group, and there were more interventions related to risk reduction of sexually transmitted infections than to any other health concern. There was some evidence for the effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of these interventions overall; however, the quality of evidence is often lacking.

Conclusions: There is sufficient evidence to suggest that targeted digital health interventions are an important focus for future research aimed at addressing health difficulties in LGBTIQ+ young people. Additional digital health interventions are needed for a wider range of health difficulties, particularly in terms of mental and physical health concerns, as well as more targeted interventions for same gender–attracted women, trans and gender-diverse people, and people with intersex variations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: JMIR Publications
Copyright: © 2020 Gilbey et al.
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