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The Permanente Journal




INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic affected numerous subpopulations of people in unique ways. This study evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health status of Broward County's aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) seniors and identified strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for interventions to enhance positive mental health outcomes. The study was performed from April 2021 through July 2021.

METHODS: Online surveys measuring anxiety, depression, social support, and resilience were delivered by email to 47 residents of Wilton Manors, Florida. Study data were collected and collated using research electronic data capture tools with bivariate analysis using the Mann-Whitney test and generalized linear regression.

RESULTS: Bivariate analysis showed that males scored significantly higher on the social interactions subscale of the Duke Social Support Index, indicating greater social support, yet there was not a significant difference with sexual orientation or living situation. Multivariate analysis revealed differences for several dependent variables including anxiety and depression reporting being lower in LGBTQ individuals.

DISCUSSION: This study provides important insight into specific mental health challenges faced by Broward County's LGBTQ seniors, which can be applied to other LGBTQ populations across the globe.

CONCLUSION: Using the results, targeted interventions can be developed to help improve mental health outcomes during periods of isolation for all individuals.


Acknowledgments Thank you to Dr. Patrick Hardigan at Nova Southeastern University for assis-tance with the statistical analysis. Also, a thank you to Bruce Williams from The Pride Center in Wilton Manors, Florida, for his help with survey distribution and focus group participants.

Funding: This research was conducted through support of Nova Southeastern University’s HPD Educational Research Grant awarded to Dr. O’Malley, Dr. Levy, and Dr. Raine and titled “Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impacts to the Mental Health and Resilience of Broward County’s Aging Adults.”





Peer Reviewed