Sexual Orientation and Functional Limitations: Cross-sectional Analyses From the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

Louis Jacob, Guillermo F. López-Sánchez, Karel Kostev, Alexis Schnitzler, Josep Maria Haro, Ai Koyanagi, Daragh T. McDermott, Jae Il Shin, Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the association between sexual orientation and functional limitations in a large representative sample of the English population. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Data were from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Participants: A total of 7403 adults aged 16-95 years (51.4% female; mean age, 46.3±18.6y) were included in the present study. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Sexual orientation was assessed using 2 items adapted from the Kinsey scale and was dichotomized into heterosexual and sexual minority orientation. Functional limitations were assessed using 7 activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Functional limitations were defined as at least 1 difficulty in 1 of 7 ADL and IADL. Adjusted logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association between sexual orientation (independent variable) and functional limitations (dependent variable). Results: The level of sexual minority orientation and prevalence of functional limitations in the sample was 7.1% and 32.9%, respectively. After adjusting for several potential confounders, sexual minority orientation was positively and significantly associated with functional limitations (odds ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-1.95; reference group: heterosexual orientation). Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study, interventions aiming to prevent against and/or manage/reduce functional limitations in sexual minorities are needed. More research is also warranted to better understand mediators (eg, obesity, cognitive complaints, psychiatric disorders) involved in the sexual orientation–functional limitation relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2117-2124
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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