Online Program

Results from focus groups and individual interviews with LGBTQ youth about addressing health needs through digital technology

Monday, November 2, 2015

Deborah S. Levine, MSW, MAT, Education Division, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, NY
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents face challenges beyond those of their heterosexual peers, including decisions about coming out to peers, parents, and other community members, bullying or violence in schools and online, pressure to engage in heterosexual behaviors, resulting in increased risk of pregnancy and exposure to STDs, and high rates of HIV and STDs among teen men who have sex with men. Digital approaches are a good way to reach LGBTQ youth as LGBTQ youth are more likely than non-LGBTQ youth to have searched online for information about sexuality or sexual attraction, HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and general health and medical questions. We conducted qualitative research with LGBTQ identified and questioning teens 15-19 years old to find out the main concerns and challenges facing LGBTQ youth; learn about the existing digital resources that are interesting to LGBTQ youth; and develop ideas for digital resources for teens. The qualitative research included 8 online focus groups, 4 in-person focus groups in Dallas and Seattle, and 20 individual interviews conducted by phone (n = 92). Key findings included: social and emotional health concerns predominate and can be an obstacle to physical health; LGBTQ youth do not relate to the sexual health education they are getting; youth consistently express a need for support and community; youth need their parents to be more understanding and accepting; youth can and do find support, community, and information online and they want more and better resources to do this.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe results from focus groups and individual interviews with LGBTQ youth about addressing health needs through digital technology

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am primarily responsible for the project to develop digital resources to address the health needs of LGBTQ youth. I managed the qualitative research that this abstract describes.
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.