The views and experiences of bisexual people regarding their psychosocial support needs a qualitative evidence synthesis

Edward McCann*, Michael J. Brown, Julia Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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What is known on the subject?: Bisexual people experience significantly poorer mental health and higher rates of self-harm and suicidality than their gay, lesbian or heterosexual counterparts. Although little is understood about why these disparities exist, bisexual people have been found to have unique life experiences that separate them from other sexual minority groups. Despite these health disparities and unique experiences, in research and in clinical settings, bisexual people are often incorporated under the LGBTQI+ umbrella and their needs are not seen as being different to those of other sub-groups. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: This paper brings together the findings of the small but growing body of literature reporting on the psychosocial support needs of bisexual people. The findings reported on herein provide novel insights, collated and synthesized that will prove valuable to policy makers, service providers and researchers. What are the implications for practice?: This paper clearly illustrates that bisexual people experience significant barriers to accessing the support services they need and that current competent service provision for this population is severely limited. The findings presented in this paper shed light on the unique psychosocial needs of bisexual people and highlight the need for practice change to reduce barriers to service access and ensure inclusive and culturally competent care for this community. Abstract: Introduction Despite consistent evidence of poor mental health among what is a relatively large population group, research examining bisexual mental health remains sparse. Aim To identify the psychosocial needs of people who are bisexual and establish factors that may support or inhibit access to appropriate psychosocial interventions and supports. Method A qualitative evidence syntheses of the empirical evidence. Results A total of 15 papers were included in the review. The PRISMA process was used. Following data analysis, four main themes emerged that were (a) experiences of being bisexual, (b) mental health experiences and concerns, (c) service access and responses and (iv) communities and supports. Discussion Bisexual people have unique and specific psychosocial support needs that relate to, but are also different from, the needs of the broader LGBTIQ+ community. This study provides valuable insights into how future policy, practice, education and training and research can better address the needs of this highly vulnerable group. Implications for Practice This study highlights the psychosocial complexities associated with bisexuality and provides evidence for the need for improvement in current support services to ensure inclusivity and culturally competent care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Early online date06 Sep 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 06 Sep 2020


  • bisexual
  • experiences
  • mental health
  • psychosocial
  • qualitative evidence syntheses
  • supports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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