Objectives: We tested the preliminary efficacy of a transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral treatment adapted to improve depression, anxiety, and co-occurring health risks (i.e., alcohol use, sexual compulsivity, condomless sex) among young adult gay and bisexual men. Treatment adaptations focused on reducing minority stress processes that underlie sexual orientation-related mental health disparities.
Method: Young gay and bisexual men (n = 63; M age = 25.94) were randomized to immediate treatment or a 3-month waitlist. At baseline, 3-month, and 6-month assessments, participants completed self-reports of mental health and minority stress and an interview of past-90-day risk behavior.
Results: Compared to waitlist, treatment significantly reduced depressive symptoms (b = -2.43, 95% CI: -4.90, 0.35, p < .001), alcohol use problems (b = -3.79, 95% CI: -5.94, -1.64, p < .001), sexual compulsivity (b = -5.09, 95% CI: -8.78, -1.40, p < .001), and past-90-day condomless sex with casual partners (b = -1.09, 95% CI: -1.80, -0.37, p < .001), and improved condom use self-efficacy (b = 10.08, 95% CI: 3.86, 16.30, p < .001). The treatment yielded moderate and marginally significant greater improvements than waitlist in anxiety symptoms (b = -2.14, 95% CI: -4.61, 0.34, p = .09) and past-90-day heavy drinking (b = -0.32, 95% CI: -0.71, 0.07, p = .09). Effects were generally maintained at follow-up. Minority stress processes showed small improvements in the expected direction.
Conclusion: 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. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record
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