PHILADELPHIA — Results from a randomized controlled trial presented at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America annual conference indicated preliminary efficacy of an intervention adapted for mental health issues and co-occurring health risks in young adult gay and bisexual men.
To test efficacy of a transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression, anxiety and co-occurring health risks such as alcohol use, sexual compulsivity and unsafe sex among young adult gay and bisexual men, researchers adapted CBT to address these issues in this specific patient population. Adaptations were derived from in-depth interviews with community mental health providers and at-risk men and focused on reducing minority stress processes that underlie mental health disparities associated with sexual orientation. Gay and bisexual men (n = 63) with a mean age of 25.94 years were randomly assigned to immediate treatment or a 3-month waitlist. Participants completed self-reports on mental health and minority stress and an interview on past 90-day risk behavior at baseline, 3 months and 6 months.
Participants who received treatment exhibited significantly reduced depressive symptoms (P < .001) and past 90-day unsafe sex (P < .001) and improved condom use (P < .001), compared with those on the waitlist.
Treatment led to moderate and marginally significantly greater improvements in anxiety symptoms (P = .09) and past 90-day heavy drinking (P = .09), compared with waitlist.
Treatment effects were generally maintained at follow-up, according to study researcher John Pachankis, PhD, of Yale University.
“This study demonstrated preliminary support for the first intervention adapted to address gay and bisexual men’s co-occurring health problems at their source in minority stress,” Pachankis wrote. “If found to be efficacious compared to standard evidence-based treatments, the treatment will possess substantial potential for helping clinicians translate LGB-affirmative treatment guidelines into evidence-based practice.” – by Amanda Oldt
Pachankis J. LGB-affirmative cognitive behavioral therapy for young adult gay and bisexual men: A randomized controlled trial of a transdiagnostic minority stress approach. Presented at: Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference; March 31-April 3, 2016; Philadelphia.
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