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Loneliness and self-rated physical health among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada

Loneliness and self-rated physical health among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada
Loneliness and self-rated physical health among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada
Background: due to stigma and discrimination, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) potentially carry a heightened burden of loneliness. This analysis investigates loneliness among gbMSM and its relationship with self-rated physical health, along with the mediating effect of depression.

Methods: participants were recruited using respondent- driven sampling into the Momentum Health Study (February 2012–February 2015) with follow-up visits occurring every 6 months until February 2018. Using computer-assisted self-interviews, measures of loneliness were assessed using a 6-item Loneliness Scale for Emotional and Social Loneliness (lonely vs not lonely). Current physical health was self-assessed (poor, fair, good, very good or excellent). A multivariable generalised linear- mixed model with a logit link function was used to examine the relationship between loneliness and self-rated physical health. We further investigated the mediating effect of depressive symptomatology on this relationship via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: of the 770 participants included, we found that 61% (n=471) experienced loneliness at baseline. Of the 674 (88%) who reported good/very good/excellent physical health, 59% (n=391) reported loneliness, compared with 87% (n=80) of those in poor/fair self- rated physical health. After adjustment for confounding, loneliness was associated with poor self-rated physical health (adjusted OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.13 to 2.60). Depressive symptomatology was found to partially mediate this relationship.

Conclusion: there may be a need for the integration of social, mental and physical health programming, targeted towards gbMSM, to alleviate the degree of loneliness experienced and its co-occurrence with poor self-rated physical health.
0143-005X
Marziali, Megan E
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Armstrong, Heather
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Closson, Kalysha
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McLinden, Taylor
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Wang, Lu
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Barath, Justin
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Harris, Marianne
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Roth, Eric A.
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Moore, David M.
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Lachowsky, Nathan J.
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Hogg, Robert S.
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Sang, Jordan
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Card, Kiffer G.
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Marziali, Megan E
844d56ba-8792-45b1-a1ae-1b4ea26273b8
Armstrong, Heather
3dc9c223-1a61-47ad-ab0b-50d06cddf4f2
Closson, Kalysha
eb727a29-77de-4fa9-a4fe-5d75e1361cc4
McLinden, Taylor
680358a3-2a6b-404c-a239-fd7f5a9a34cd
Wang, Lu
22f5289e-46aa-418f-bdf7-95b76c40d4ee
Barath, Justin
f67cb9c0-3e49-43d6-9df2-e6e3e10aced3
Harris, Marianne
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Roth, Eric A.
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Moore, David M.
b3bb7f8f-4409-412e-959b-bcda959a8d2d
Lachowsky, Nathan J.
87634bac-759c-4e7b-9f16-22fb37e87cf6
Hogg, Robert S.
3f71ad69-9c8a-4732-bb86-4aa0652e1f3f
Sang, Jordan
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Card, Kiffer G.
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Marziali, Megan E, Armstrong, Heather, Closson, Kalysha, McLinden, Taylor, Wang, Lu, Barath, Justin, Harris, Marianne, Roth, Eric A., Moore, David M., Lachowsky, Nathan J., Hogg, Robert S., Sang, Jordan and Card, Kiffer G. (2020) Loneliness and self-rated physical health among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. (doi:10.1136/jech-2019-213566).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: due to stigma and discrimination, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) potentially carry a heightened burden of loneliness. This analysis investigates loneliness among gbMSM and its relationship with self-rated physical health, along with the mediating effect of depression.

Methods: participants were recruited using respondent- driven sampling into the Momentum Health Study (February 2012–February 2015) with follow-up visits occurring every 6 months until February 2018. Using computer-assisted self-interviews, measures of loneliness were assessed using a 6-item Loneliness Scale for Emotional and Social Loneliness (lonely vs not lonely). Current physical health was self-assessed (poor, fair, good, very good or excellent). A multivariable generalised linear- mixed model with a logit link function was used to examine the relationship between loneliness and self-rated physical health. We further investigated the mediating effect of depressive symptomatology on this relationship via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: of the 770 participants included, we found that 61% (n=471) experienced loneliness at baseline. Of the 674 (88%) who reported good/very good/excellent physical health, 59% (n=391) reported loneliness, compared with 87% (n=80) of those in poor/fair self- rated physical health. After adjustment for confounding, loneliness was associated with poor self-rated physical health (adjusted OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.13 to 2.60). Depressive symptomatology was found to partially mediate this relationship.

Conclusion: there may be a need for the integration of social, mental and physical health programming, targeted towards gbMSM, to alleviate the degree of loneliness experienced and its co-occurrence with poor self-rated physical health.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 440881
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/440881
ISSN: 0143-005X
PURE UUID: 075d11ed-1a76-462d-a15f-529a3d662328
ORCID for Heather Armstrong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1071-8644

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Date deposited: 21 May 2020 16:30
Last modified: 23 May 2020 00:45

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Contributors

Author: Megan E Marziali
Author: Kalysha Closson
Author: Taylor McLinden
Author: Lu Wang
Author: Justin Barath
Author: Marianne Harris
Author: Eric A. Roth
Author: David M. Moore
Author: Nathan J. Lachowsky
Author: Robert S. Hogg
Author: Jordan Sang
Author: Kiffer G. Card

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