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AGING AND SEXUAL MINORITIES: EXPLORING THE HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES OF OLDER LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT) INDIVIDUALS

Baumgartner Jr., Thomas Carl (2007) AGING AND SEXUAL MINORITIES: EXPLORING THE HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES OF OLDER LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT) INDIVIDUALS. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Few studies have been carried out that examine the effects aging has on the health of older LGBT individuals. This is a matter that warrants further research, for approximately half a million gay men and lesbians turn fifty each year. As the number of aging LGBT persons grows, so does the need for competent clinical care that addresses the unique health and psychosocial issues of this population. It has been shown that discrimination against LGBT persons exists in the medical setting. Additionally, the literature suggests that medical students do not receive sufficient training regarding sexual minorities. Educating primary care physicians, medical students and other health professionals on how to communicate more effectively with aging LGBT patients can lead to improved health outcomes. This is a goal of public health. The IRB-approved study described in this thesis aimed to provide the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging (A.C.A.A.A.) with information about the health and psychosocial issues of older ( ≥ 50) LGBT individuals living in the Pittsburgh area. Over a two-month period in 2006, a comprehensive survey was dissemintated at a variety of locations frequented by LGBT persons. The survey included questions about demographics, quality of received health care, openess about sexual orientation with one’s primary care physician, end-of-life and legal issues, and questions that addressed pertinent LGBT health and psychosocial issues. Results of the survey indicated that the majority of the sample’s respondents (N=79) reported being in good health, receiving competent health care from primary care physicians, being open with their doctors about sexual orientation, and experiencing minimal discrimination from health care providers due to sexual orientation. These positive findings differ from the somewhat discouraging information presented in the literature review. Despite this, the survey results may inspire more rigorous studies to be carried out in the future that address the health and psychosocial issues of older LGBT persons. Further studies may also bring about positive changes in medical schools’ curricula, not to mention changes in public health policies that address the nation's aging population as a whole.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Baumgartner Jr., Thomas Carltommybaumy@verizon.net
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberSilvestre, Anthonytonys@stophiv.pitt.eduTONYS
Committee MemberDocumet, Patriciadocumetp@yahoo.com
Date: 25 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 7 June 2007
Approval Date: 25 September 2007
Submission Date: 15 June 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Persad Center; Pittsburgh
Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-06152007-113932/, etd-06152007-113932
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:47
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8111

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