Assessing the Well-being of Sexual Minority Soldiers at a Military Academic Institution.

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION:The goal of the present study was to characterize behavioral health rates, behavioral health care utilization, loneliness, and perceived prejudice and support among sexual minority soldiers. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Cross-sectional survey data were obtained from 640 active-duty U.S. soldiers enrolled in an academic training institute who provided information on their sexual orientation. Survey topics included demographics, behavioral health, behavioral health care utilization, and mitigating factors (eg, perceived prejudice, perceived support, and loneliness). Chi-square analyses were utilized to determine any differences between groups for behavioral health rates and behavioral health care utilization. Robust regression was used for analysis of self-reported loneliness. RESULTS:A higher proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) soldiers than heterosexual soldiers screened positive for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality. No between-group differences in behavioral health care utilization were found; however, a higher proportion of LGB soldiers sought help from military family life counselors. No between-group differences for loneliness were found. Finally, perceived prejudice was higher for LGB soldiers and perceived support was lower. CONCLUSION:Organizational barriers, such as perceived prejudice and lack of support, appear to still exist for sexual minority soldiers. Increasing organizational support and implementing training and education for health care providers in order to better support the LGB soldier community may mitigate these barriers.

journal_name

Mil Med

journal_title

Military medicine

authors

McDonald JL,Ganulin ML,Dretsch MN,Taylor MR,Cabrera OA

doi

10.1093/milmed/usz198

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2020-01-07 00:00:00

pages

342-347

issue

Suppl 1

eissn

0026-4075

issn

1930-613X

pii

5740762

journal_volume

185

pub_type

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