Aims and objectives: To conduct an integrative review of nonsuicidal self-injury among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations to better understand the prevalence; to identify the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender subgroups at increased risk for nonsuicidal self-injury; and to examine the risk factors associated with nonsuicidal self-injury among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations.
Background: Nonsuicidal self-injury, defined as intentional injury to the body's surface without intent to die, is a significant mental health concern among adolescents and adults. Mental health disparities in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations, including anxiety, depression and suicidality, have been documented in the scientific literature with little focus on findings about nonsuicidal self-injury.
Design: Integrative literature review of published quantitative and qualitative empirical research.
Methods: A literature search of 11 on-line databases was conducted of articles published through April 2015. Keywords were used to identify articles about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations and nonsuicidal self-injury.
Results: After screening by title, abstract and full text, 26 articles were included in this review. The literature synthesised demonstrates a consistent pattern of increased prevalence of nonsuicidal self-injury among sexual and gender minority populations compared with heterosexual peers. This body of literature indicates which subgroups of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations appear to be at increased risk for nonsuicidal self-injury and which specific factors contributing to vulnerability to nonsuicidal self-injury among these populations.
Conclusions: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations are at higher risk for nonsuicidal self-injury compared with the general population. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-specific and general risk factors appear to contribute to this heightened vulnerability.
Relevance to clinical practice: Clinical nurses should screen for nonsuicidal self-injury and for sexual and gender minority identity in all of their patients. Comprehensive assessment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients presenting with nonsuicidal self-injury may lead to identification of risk factors that can be addressed through nursing interventions. Nurse researchers and clinicians should take an active role in developing and implementing evidenced-based tailored interventions to reduce the higher vulnerability to nonsuicidal self-injury among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations.
Keywords: bisexual; gay; integrative review; lesbian; mental health; nonsuicidal self-injury; sexual and gender minorities; transgender.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.