The politics of LGBT+ health inequality: Conclusions from a UK scoping review

Elizabeth Sarah McDermott, R. Nelson, H. Weeks

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Abstract

This scoping review of UK evidence aimed to describe what is known about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT+) health inequalities in relation to cancer, mental health, and palliative care to inform research, policy and public health interventions. Using a scoping review methodology, we identified studies from database searches, citation tracking, and expert consultation. The in/exclusion criteria was based on the PICOS framework. The data were charted and then summarised to map the theoretical approaches and the main types of evidence and identify knowledge gaps. In total, 279 articles were screened and 83 were included in the final review. We found that there is limited UK research examining LGBT+ health inequality in cancer, mental health and palliative care. We would argue that this thin evidence base is partly due to national policy discussions of LGBT+ health inequality that are framed within a depoliticised ‘it’s getting better’ narrative, and an unwillingness to adequately acknowledge the unjust social and economic relations that produce LGBT+ health inequality. In addition, LGBT+ health inequality is depoliticised by existing public health explanatory theories, models and frameworks that exclude sexual orientation and gender diversity as dimensions of power that interlock with those of socio-economic, race and ethnicity. This is a barrier to developing public health interventions that can successfully tackle LGBT+ health inequality. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Article number826
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • LGBT
  • health
  • inequality
  • scoping review
  • UK
  • mental health
  • palliative care
  • end of life care
  • cancer

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