Counselling and psychotherapy service use in Chinese sexual minority populations: a nationwide survey

Wang, Yuanyuan; Wilson, Amanda; Hu, Zhishan; Lu, Li; Li, Wengao; Peng, Ke; Wu, Lijuan; Xin, Ying; Drescher, Jack; Ou, Jianjun; Chen, Runsen

This study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with counselling and psychotherapy service use among Chinese sexual minority populations.

A nationwide cross-sectional study was performed using snowball sampling method, which led to the inclusion of 18,193 participants. Participants’ sociodemographic background, clinical, and psychological data were gathered. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to explore any associated factors.

There were 2007 participants who had used counselling and psychotherapy service out of the total population. Among those who had used psychotherapy services, 80.2% participants perceived discrimination, 1.1% reported that they had been refused treatment by a counsellor and/or psychotherapist, 1.6% had experienced verbal harassment, and 8.4% reported that their counsellor and/or psychotherapist lacked knowledge and experience in treating sexual minorities. In addition, regression analyses indicated that those who were divorced/widowed, had religious beliefs, and those who had experienced discrimination, verbal harassment, and rejection for treatment by health professionals all had an increased likelihood of utilising counselling and psychotherapy service.

Service providers and policy makers in China should improve the quality and availability of counselling and psychotherapy services to address the mental health needs of sexual minority populations.

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December 20, 2022


Chinese, Sexual minority, Counselling, Psychotherapy, Service use, LGBT