Health care use among gay, lesbian and bisexual Canadians

Health Rep. 2008 Mar;19(1):53-64.


Objective: This article examines whether consultations with health care providers, not having a regular doctor, unmet health care needs, and receipt of preventive screening tests vary by sexual identity for Canadians aged 18 to 59.

Data source: Results are based on the Canadian Community Health Survey, combined 2003 and 2005 data.

Analytical techniques: Cross-tabulations were used to compare utilization rates of selected health care providers by sexual identity. Multiple logistic regression models that controlled for predisposing, enabling and health need variables were employed to ascertain if sexual identity was independently associated with health care use, not having a regular doctor, unmet health care needs, and receipt of preventive screening tests.

Main results: Gay men, lesbians and bisexual people were more likely than heterosexuals to consult mental health service providers. Lesbians had lower rates of consulting family doctors and were less likely to have had a Pap test, compared with heterosexual women. Bisexuals reported more unmet health care needs than did their heterosexual counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Bisexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status
  • Homosexuality / psychology
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data