Journal of Clinical Nursing
"Aims and objectives: To explore homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning plus (LGBTQ+) youth and to identify their support and care requirements.
Background: LGBTQ+ youth face many health and societal challenges including issues related to homelessness.
Design: A systematic review of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies.
Methods: A search of relevant electronic databases was carried out and included the dates August 2008-August 2018 and limited to academic journals and peer-reviewed empirical studies written in English. Included studies specifically addressed the homeless experiences of youth aged 13-24 years old who identified as LGBTQ+. The PRISMA checklist was used in the review. A quality assessment instrument was used to review all of the selected papers and narrative methods utilized in the synthesis of the research evidence.
Results: The search resulted in 319 papers, and after applying distinct inclusion criteria, a total of 14 papers were considered suitable for the systematic review. Following analysis, the four main themes identified were stigma, discrimination and exclusion; mental health issues and substance use; sexual risks and vulnerability; and interventions and supports.
Conclusion: LGBTQ+ homeless youth is a major public health concern that has significant consequences for a young person's physical and psychosocial well-being.
Relevance to clinical practice: Practitioners need to be aware of the specific health and support requirements of LGBTQ+ youth in relation to homelessness. Inclusive and holistic care plans should exist that are fully responsive to the distinct needs of this group guided by definitive policies and sound clinical research. The implications for future nursing practice are presented and discussed.