Mental health, potential minority stressors and resilience: evidence from a cross-sectional survey of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men within the Celtic nations

Mcgarty, A. , McDaid, L. , Flowers, P. , Riddell, J. , Pachankis, J. and Frankis, J. (2021) Mental health, potential minority stressors and resilience: evidence from a cross-sectional survey of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men within the Celtic nations. BMC Public Health, 21, 2024. (doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-12030-x)

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Abstract

Background: Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) are at a greater risk of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, than heterosexual adults. Numerous factors and stressors have been reported to impact men’s mental health, although it has been suggested that resilience could have a protective effect. The aim of this study is to explore mental health, minority stressors, and resilience among a large online cross-sectional survey of GBMSM in the Celtic nations. Methods: Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from the Social Media, GBMSM and Sexual and Holistic Health (SMMASH2) self-report online survey. Participants (n = 3077) were recruited via gay sociosexual media in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors that increased the odds of moderate-to-severe anxiety and depression. Potentially relevant variables (p < 0.05) were carried forward in hierarchal logistic regression analyses. Results: The prevalence of moderate-to-severe anxiety and depression was 19.9 and 14.4%, respectively. Having a disability (OR = 1.73) and having financial worries sometimes/all of the time (OR = 1.93) increased the odds of having moderate-to-severe depression and anxiety, respectively. No minority stressors were associated with depression, whereas experiencing any form of relationship abuse in the last 12 months significantly increased the odds of anxiety (OR = 1.50). Resilience, namely a sense of coherence, had a protective effect and significantly reduced the odds of moderate-to-severe depression (OR = 0.85) and anxiety (OR = 0.89). Conclusions: Disability and financial worries were associated with increased depression and anxiety, respectively, while resilience had a protective effect for GBMSM in the SMMASH2 study. Future research is needed to better understand the role of resilience and the challenges and stresses of everyday life and intersecting health problems. Future research is also needed that incorporates the perspectives of those most affected by mental ill-health to co-develop effective solutions that respond to their contextual surroundings.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) and Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO) at the MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow fund LMcD, JR and PF (MC_UU_12017/11, SPHSU11; MC_UU_12017/12, SPHSU12). PF was also funded by University of Strathclyde. JF is funded by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). The SMMASH2 study was partly funded from a grant from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and GCU, United Kingdom.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flowers, Professor Paul and Mcgarty, Dr Arlene and McDaid, Professor Lisa and Riddell, Miss Julie
Authors: Mcgarty, A., McDaid, L., Flowers, P., Riddell, J., Pachankis, J., and Frankis, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 21:2024
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU12