Introduction: Sexual minority (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual) adults have a higher prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), largely attributable to increased exposure to minority stressors. To date, there are no evidence-based interventions for CVD risk reduction tailored to their unique needs.
Methods: We qualitatively explored the perceptions of sexual minority adults towards minority stress and cardiovascular health to inform a tailored intervention. We also assessed their preferences for intervention delivery. Sexual minority adults (ages 39-64) without a CVD history were interviewed and shown a sample intervention combining established CVD risk interventions and minority stress reduction. Interviews were transcribed and double coded for coding accuracy and reliability. Codes were grouped into the cognitive, behavioral, and environmental themes of Social Cognitive Theory.
Results: The 23-participant sample had a mean age of 52 (+/- 7.16) years. Approximately 52% were female, 61% were non-Hispanic White, and 83% were college educated. There was almost perfect intercoder agreement (k= 0.98). Participants understood the importance of their sexual identities and of CVD, but not the elevated CVD risk factors in sexual minorities. Participants were willing to improve their cardiovascular health via an intervention. Participants preferred a 12-week, virtual, synchronous, group intervention. All participants approved of the sample intervention, particularly of stress-reduction components.
Conclusions: This study highlights multiple factors that need to be addressed to meet the needs of sexual minorities to reduce CVD risk. By creating a tailored intervention informed by this study, the hope is that future interventions have higher efficacy and adherence rates.
Pepe, Vincent, "Perceptions of a Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Intervention for Sexual Minority Adults" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 457.