IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 1329: Navigating the LGB Data Landscape: A Review of Appropriate Secondary Data Sources for Sexuality and Substance Use Research in the UK (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Research has found that sexual minority individuals are more likely to experience health inequalities and have higher rates of substance use compared with their heterosexual counterparts. This association between sexuality and health outcomes is increasingly being explored using quantitative methodologies within the context of public health, psychology and health geography. Much of this research, however, has relied on primary data, despite the wide availability of secondary sources, mainly survey data, collecting information on sexuality and different types of health outcomes and health risk behaviours, such as substance use. This study reviewed recent surveys in the UK that are appropriate for exploring topics related to LGB populations and substance use behaviours. We carried out a narrative review of secondary data sources in the UK to assess the accessibility and suitability of secondary sources for sexuality and substance use research. We identified eight cross-sectional and two longitudinal surveys that contained both sexuality and substance use data. We summarised the possible applications of each survey and the scope of questions within sexuality and substance use research that could be addressed by each survey. The identification of appropriate surveys in this review can allow researchers to extend the use of secondary data sources in the UK to examine substance use inequalities between sexuality groups, further advancing this key topic.