Health of Older Adults LGB
The United States, nowadays, has more than 2 million older adults that identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB; Cahill, South, & Spade, 2000). Moreover, this number is likely to triple by 2030 (Cahill et al., 2000; Fredriksen-Goldsen, 2007a). Although this population makes up a significant part of the American population, studies have shown that there still is a large gap between health for the heterosexual and the LGB community (CDC, 2011). As a consequence, a study was designed to investigate the effects of key health indicators and protective factors on the health of LGB older adults (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2012). Furthermore, this research shows great importance when providing the adequate resources to the LGB older populations since health research regarding this group is largely absent (Fredriksen-Goldsen & Muraco, 2010).
In order to collect data for this study, 2,349 LGB adults above the age 50 were selected to answer survey questions (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2012). In this sample, 829 lesbians and bisexual older women were included, as well as 1,520 gay and bisexual older men. Moreover, the average age among these older adults was 67 years old, and 87% of them were non-Hispanic white. It was also noted that nearly one third of the sample was at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), with bisexual older women and men being more likely to be in this category than older lesbians and gay men (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2012). Furthermore, standardized measures were used in the study, which resulted in the collection of qualitative data. In order to analyze the results from this cross-sectional study, STATA/IC for Windows (version 11.2) was used.
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Results from the study showed that poor general health was reported by 22% of the LGB older adults, with 45% having a disability and 29% experiencing symptoms of depression (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2012). Moreover, it was found that poor general health, disability, and depression for this population are associated with financial barriers to healthcare, smoking, obesity, internalized stigma, and lifetime victimization. However, social support and social networks were found to be protective factors against these conditions. As a result, the implication is the fact that key risks and protective factors significantly influence the LGB older adults’ health, so interventions should be developed in order to decrease the levels of poor general health, disability, and depression among this population. Finally, it was concluded that resilience theory is a good mechanism to identify the reasons for the disparity between LGB older adults and their heterosexual counterparts. Therefore, these factors, which are key health indicators and risk and protective factors, should be recognized in order to develop interventions for this group (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2012).
Discussion of Methodology
Undoubtedly, the study described above has strengths regarding its methodology. First, each condition, which are poor general health, disability, and depression, had three models for logistic regression. As a consequence, results are more likely to have accuracy since the variables were adjusted for different circumstances. Moreover, each variable was tested individually, which decreases the possibility of error. Therefore, the results are more accurate and reliable since they were carefully collected. However, some weakness present in the study’s methodology limits its results. The sample’s demographics, for instance, were very unbalanced. The number of women participating in the study was almost half of the number of men participating. Furthermore, inside of these two categories, there was an uneven distribution between homosexual and bisexual individuals. Subsequently, the comparison between results collected for each subcategory seems to lack precision due to the significant number of participants that fit in each group.
In terms of timeliness, the article by Fredriksen-Goldsen et al. would score a 5, or excellent. Since the information was posted in 2013, it is still considered to be recent. Moreover, research on LGB older adults’ mental health is still largely absent (Fredriksen-Goldsen & Muraco, 2010), so the information present in this article is still up-to-date for this subject. Furthermore, the article would score a 4, or good, in relevance. Although the information provided fully answered my question about the LGB older adults’ mental health, it did not answer my research question completely since transgender participants were not included in the sample. However, the information provided is appropriate for my own level of understanding, and it did answer 75% of my questions. Moreover, the article would score a 5, or excellent, in authority. The journal that published it was The Gerontologist, which has a 5-year impact factor of 4.277. In addition to that, the articles published in this journal are focused exclusively on the older population, so they can be considered an authority in the topic. Moreover, the author Karen I. Frederiksen-Goldsen, Ph.D., is from the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, Seattle, and is known for her published works on LGBT older adults (“School of Social Work,” n.d.). In accuracy, the article would score a 3, or good. Although the information provided is supported by evidence, the sample chosen by the researchers seems to be unevenly distributed among its categories, which results in an inaccuracy of results. However, it can be seen by the author’s tone that the study was not biased since it seems to be free from emotions. Finally, the article would score 5, or excellent, in purpose. The information provided was based on the authors’ own research, and it seems to be free of bias. Moreover, the article successfully achieved its goal, which was to inform the audience about an issue present in the society that was assured by evidence. In addition to that, it was specifically written for a general audience since anyone who read the article can take action in order to help to fix the problem.
Application of TRAAP Test
Although the article did not address my research question completely, it answered most part of it with quality. Subsequently, I can affirm it addressed my question sufficiently. Moreover, the article passed the TRAAP test since it scored 22 out of 25 points. Therefore, I can affirm that the article is reliable and can be used when discussing the factors that affect LGB older adults’ mental health during the process of aging. Looking at each part of the TRAAP test, it can be affirmed that its strengths are the timeliness, authority, and purpose. Furthermore, in order to make the article even more reliable, the sample used to collect data could be adjusted so the categories would have a more evenly distributed number of individuals. As a consequence, it would improve the precision of the results since the number of answers for each question of the survey would have been answered by similar numbers of people. In addition to that, a subcategory including transgender individuals who already experienced their transition phase could be added to the study in order to improve the accuracy with each it addresses the research question.