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The mental health needs and concerns of older people who identify as LGBTQ+: A narrative review of the international evidence

McCann, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3548-4204 & Brown, M. J. (2019). The mental health needs and concerns of older people who identify as LGBTQ+: A narrative review of the international evidence. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 75(12), pp. 3390-3403. doi: 10.1111/jan.14193


To synthesize the best available evidence on the experiences and perceptions of older people who identify as LGBTQ + regarding their mental health needs and concerns.

A narrative review and critical appraisal of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies.

Data sources
A systematic search was undertaken across all of the databases including PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Sociological Abstracts. International studies published in academic journals in the English language, from January 1995 - January 2019 were appraised. Studies had to involve older people identifying as LGBTQ + and who had experiences mental health issues.

Review methods
Fourteen papers were selected for inclusion in the systematic review. A narrative analysis of the papers was used by synthesizing the key findings and organizing them into themes and concepts.

Following analysis of the data, the identified themes were: (a) LGBTQ + identity issues (b) risk and vulnerability factors, (c) coping strategies and resilience, (d) interventions and supports.

This review highlights key mental health-related issues that need to be taken into account in the creation and provision of appropriate, responsive and inclusive supports and services.

What were the main findings? Some older people who identify as LGBTQ + have experienced stigma, discrimination, and minority stress. However, many have developed coping strategies and resilience while others have developed mental health issues. It is necessary to have in place appropriate interventions and supports to effectively meet the needs of this population.

Where and on whom will the research have impact? The review has significant implications for health and nursing policy and inform developments in nursing practice and nurse education.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McCann, E, Brown, MJ. The mental health needs and concerns of older people who identify as LGBTQ+: A narrative review of the international evidence. J Adv Nurs. 2019; 75: 3390– 3403., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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