262593 Differential effects of health risk behaviors on health-related quality of life (HRQOL): Comparisons of lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual college students in Taiwan

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jiun-Hau Huang, SM, ScD , Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan
Yen-Yu Miao, MS , Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan
Background: LGB people were reported to have higher levels of psychological distress than their heterosexual counterparts. Health risk behaviors were also found to have negative effects on HRQOL. However, few studies have examined whether the effects of health risk behaviors on HRQOL differ between LGB and heterosexual college students.

Methods: Data from 888 college students were collected via a self-administered anonymous survey, which included questions regarding health risk behaviors and WHOQOL-BREF, an abbreviated version of the World Health Organization QOL assessment (WHOQOL-100). Multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted to examine whether the effects of health risk behaviors on HRQOL were different between LGB and heterosexual college students, separated by gender.

Results: In general, HRQOL was significantly different in the social relationships domain among LGB and heterosexual men and women. For male college students (N=513), past-year heavy episodic drinking had a significant adverse effect on the psychological HRQOL in gay/bisexual (N=62; =-2.022, p=0.048) but not in heterosexual men, after controlling for age, class rank quintile, personal monthly income, and sexual debut before age 20. Adjusting for the same variables, for female college students (N=375), problem gambling and having unprotected sex in the past year had significant adverse effects on the environment HRQOL in lesbian/bisexual (N=67; =-1.831, p=0.021 and =-1.665, p=0.023, respectively) but not in heterosexual women.

Conclusions: Significantly different effects of health risk behaviors on HRQOL were found among LGB and heterosexual college students. Future research may focus on these behaviors and affected domains of HRQOL, and explore possible mechanisms.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the differences in various domains of health-related quality of life between lesbian/gay/bisexual and heterosexual college students, separated by gender. 2. Identify health risk behaviors which have differential effects on health-related quality of life among lesbian/gay/bisexual and heterosexual college students.

Keywords: Quality of Life, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple grants funded by the National Science Council, Taiwan. Most of my research projects have focused on health risk behaviors among college students. During my doctoral training at Harvard School of Public Health and post-doctoral training at McGill University, my research has revolved around college health risk behavior and gender issues, as have most of my publications thus far. I have also been teaching related courses in college.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.