• LGBQ adults’ experiences of a CBT wellbeing group for anxiety and depression in an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service: a qualitative service evaluation

      Lloyd, Christopher E. M.; Rimes, Katharine A.; Hambrook, David G.; University of Derby (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-01-05)
      Sexual minorities, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer (LGBQ) are at heightened risk of experiencing mental health problems. Nationally, treatment outcomes within England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services are worse for sexual minority patients than for heterosexuals. An IAPT service in London developed a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) group specifically for sexual minority patients to provide a safe, affirmative intervention to learn skills for overcoming depression, anxiety and stress. A qualitative online survey was emailed to all 59 service users who had completed the eight-session intervention, to explore their experiences inductively. Survey data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Themes were identified in participants’ responses in order to establish which aspects of the group intervention were deemed to be helpful and unhelpful, and to explore suggestions for group improvement. Eighteen people completed the survey (response rate 30.5%). Respondents reported that they found the CBT frame of the group useful, with the LGBQ focus experienced as particularly beneficial, often enhancing engagement with CBT concepts and tools. In addition to generic elements of group therapy that some found difficult, others reported that intragroup diversity, such as generational differences, could lead to a reduced sense of connection. Several suggestions for group improvement were made, including incorporating more diverse perspectives and examples in session content and focusing more on issues relating to intersectionality. These results provide preliminary evidence that a culturally adapted CBT group intervention developed specifically for sexual minorities is acceptable and perceived as offering something unique and helpful.