NLM logo

National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

HSRProj (Health Services Research Projects in Progress)

Information about ongoing health services research and public health projects


Peer online motivational interviewing for sexual and gender minority male survivors
Investigator (PI): Cook, Joan M
Performing Organization (PO): (Current): Yale University, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry / (203) 785-6396
Supporting Agency (SA): Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Initial Year: 2019
Final Year: 2023
Record Source/Award ID: PCORI/AD-2018C1-11098
Funding: Total Award Amount: $1,390,341
Award Type: Contract
Award Information: PCORI: More information and project results (when completed)
Abstract: This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on the PCORI website within 90 days after the results are final. What is the research about? Sexual and gender minority, or SGM, men include those who identify as gay, bisexual, trans/non-binary, genderqueer, or intersex. SGM men experience higher rates of sexual violence than other men. These experiences can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (or PTSD), substance misuse, depression, anxiety, or suicide. Many SGM men also experience discrimination that can increase stress. Often, SGM men don't get mental health treatment for their trauma-related distress. This study compares two online counselling interventions to encourage SGM sexual abuse survivors to enroll in formal mental health treatment. They involve two different approaches to motivational interviewing, an evidence-based technique that helps people explore, get ready for, and commit to change. Both ways are led by peers who are also male trauma survivors. Who can this research help? Information from this study can help doctors and health clinics plan ways to encourage SGM male survivors of sexual abuse to engage in treatment. What is the research team doing? The research team is recruiting 344 SGM men with a history of sexual abuse and high levels of emotional distress. The team is assigning these men to one of two groups by chance. Both groups are led by peers and meet for six weeks of online counseling. After the online counseling groups end, the research team is looking at whether people in the study have scheduled an appointment for or begun mental health treatment. The team is also following up over four months about symptoms of depression, PTSD, substance use, and quality of life. SGM men who have experienced trauma and distress, other trauma survivors, and experienced mental health professionals who work in this area are working with the research team to plan and conduct the study. Research methods. Design: The study design is a randomized controlled trial. Population: The study population is adult male-identifying people who identify as SGM or who have sex with men and report (1) a history of sexual abuse and (2) emotional distress with a score of 3 or higher using a 4-question symptom inventory. Interventions/comparators are (a) motivational interviewing and (b) motivational interviewing with trauma-informed sexual and gender minority affirmative care. Outcomes: Outcomes are (a) primary: initiation of mental health treatment, and experience and frequency of depressive symptoms over the past week; and (b) secondary: symptoms of PTSD; use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; and quality of life. The timeframe is 120-day follow-up for primary outcomes.
Abstract Archived: At least one in six men is sexually abused before their 18th birthday, and this number rises to one in four across their lifespan. Sexual and gender minority (SGM) men are exposed to traumatic events, particularly sexual violence, at even higher rates. SGM males suffer a host of negative mental health consequences from sexual abuse, including posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and dependence, depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. They also experience a number of significant difficulties associated with minority stress, such as low self-esteem, sexual identity formation disturbances, and difficulties forming healthy adult intimate relationships. The cumulative impact of sexual abuse, in conjunction with individuals' SGM status, also appears to result in higher rates of trauma re-victimization, including anti-gay violence and discrimination. Although SGM male survivors suffer significant psychological distress and disorder, they typically do not seek formal mental health treatment or take, on average, decades to do so. This study will investigate two different psychotherapies, delivered online by peer specialists with shared lived experience, to see if we can facilitate formal entry into mental health services. Increasing SGM male sexual abuse survivors' entry into mental health services may help to address an important healthy disparity by alleviating psychiatric distress, increasing quality of life, and helping these men get the treatment they need and deserve. Given the prevalence of sexual trauma in the lives of men, and its well-documented connection to mental and physical health disorders, facilitating their entry into formal mental health services is imperative. In collaboration with MaleSurvivor, a non-profit trauma survivor organization that provides resources to male abuse survivors and their loved ones, we will successfully recruit and retain participants, establish a community-based research advisory board to facilitate the identification and enlistment of participants, and work to develop plans to share the study progress and results in formats most useful to the different communities involved, including SGM participants, other trauma survivors, and SGM populations as well as their families.

MeSH Terms:
  • Access to Health Care
  • Gender Minorities
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services /*organization & administration
  • Motivational Interviewing /*methods
  • * Peer Group
  • Program Development
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Esteem
  • Sexual Violence /*psychology
  • Telemedicine /*methods
Country: United States
State: Connecticut
Zip Code: 06511
UI: 20193079
CTgovId: NCT03794986
Project Status: Ongoing
Record History: ('2020: Archived abstract to Abstract Archived 1 field and added new abstract. Alternate Title: Comparing ways to help sexual and gender minority male survivors of sexual abuse reduce distress and engage in treatment',)