Master's Culminating Experience
Background: While the older LGBT population continues to grow, they remain an underserved, invisible, and under-researched segment of the population. They experience many of the same risk and protective factors of all older adults, but discrimination is one social determinant of health that is quite prevalent among this community, causing lasting impacts on health.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the social determinants of health issues and needs of the aging LGBT population in Dayton, Ohio, in order to direct advocacy strategies and better targeting of local support efforts.
Methods: Data were collected through a cross-sectional survey created through community collaboration. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for demographics and chi-square analyses to examine associations between LGBT-friendliness, housing, legal documentation and demographic characteristics.
Results: The data suggests that subgroups of the LGBT population have variable experiences with social determinants of health and discrimination. Transgender, bisexual, and other (asexual, pansexual, queer) individuals perceived various establishments as being less LGBT-friendly and were more likely to feel the need to hide their gender or sexual identities than their gay and lesbian, and male and female counterparts. Yet, transgender and bisexual individuals are usually the least researched subgroups, while our study suggests they face greater discrimination in various healthcare and aging establishments.
Conclusions: While Dayton is currently an LGBT-friendly city, improvements in LGBT-friendliness of healthcare establishments and housing should be priorities going forward, in order to improve the overall health of our aging LGBT population.
Sokol, J. L. (2019). Assessing the Social Determinants of Health Needs of Older LGBT People in the Greater Miami Valley of Ohio. Wright State University. Dayton, Ohio.
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Additional FilesSokol Poster_Final.pdf (598 kB)