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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Mindfulness: a promising individual-level solution for health disparities experienced by sexual minority people

Jennifer M. JabsonEducation, Health, and Human Sciences

Sexual minority people (individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual) experience health and health-related disparities compared to heterosexual people. Excess stress, caused by chronic, cumulative minority stress occurring in addition to daily life stress and stressful life events, is the prevailing explanation for health disparities experienced by sexual minority people. Therefore, eliminating health disparities in these groups requires addressing stress. Rural sexual minority people may be at the greatest risk for excess stress due to socially conservative, geographically isolated, qualities that can characterize rural regions. Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs have been successful at reducing stress in clinical and nonclinical groups and may be an individual-level solution for health disparities experienced by sexual minority people.  This presentation will introduce mindfulness-based stress reduction and its potential value as an individual-level solution for excess stress among sexual minority people. A feasibility study with rural sexual minority women will serve as an example.​

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