Stigma against lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer (LGBQ) people may increase their risk of mental illness and reduce their access to and/or benefit from evidence-based psychological treatments. Little is known about the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of adapted psychological interventions for sexual minority individuals in the UK.
To describe and evaluate a novel LGBQ Wellbeing group therapy for sexual minority adults experiencing common mental health problems, provided in a UK Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service.
An eight-session LGBQ Wellbeing group intervention was developed drawing on CBT and LGBQ affirmative principles. We compare the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of patients who completed and dropped out of the groups, and explore changes in self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety and functional impairment.
Over eight courses provided, 78 service-users attended at least one session, of whom 78.2% completed the intervention (drop-out rate 21.8%). Older participants were more likely to drop out. There was a lower proportion of female and bisexual or ethnic/racial minority individuals than would be expected. There were significant reductions in severity of depression, anxiety and functional impairment following the group, and more than half of those who completed the intervention needed no further treatment.
There was preliminary evidence of the feasibility of, and potential clinical benefit in, a group therapy intervention for sexual minority adults experiencing common mental health problems. Future research should investigate access and outcomes for participants with additional social disadvantage, e.g. those who are female, older, bisexual or ethnic/racial minority.