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Experiences and perceptions of military and emergency services personnel identifying as LGBTQIA+ and their families: a qualitative systematic review protocol

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The objective of this review is to explore the perceptions and experiences of military and emergency personnel who identify as LGBTQIA+, and those of their families.


LGBTQIA+ military and emergency first response personnel report disproportionately poorer career and personal outcomes than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. Research examining the underlying lived experiences and perceptions of people serving who are LGBTQIA+, particularly those of their family members, is sparse. Hence, the aim of this review is to identify, aggregate, and synthesize relevant qualitative research findings.

Inclusion criteria:

This review will consider studies of LGBTQIA+ military or emergency first response personnel and their families that include qualitative data capturing experiences and perceptions of navigating industrial institutions and service communities. Military personnel include those employed in any role within any military organization; emergency first response personnel will include ambulance workers, paramedics, police, firefighters, and other public safety roles. Families will be limited to any configuration of immediate family members of active or retired LGBTQIA+ service personnel. No limits will be applied to the age of service personnel or their family members, nor to duration or chronology of service.


Databases searched will include PsycINFO, PubMed Central, ProQuest Central, Scopus, MEDLINE, Embase, and PTSDpubs. Domain-specific journals will be manually searched, and gray literature and unpublished studies will be searched via ProQuest Central. Study screening and selection against inclusion criteria will be performed in Covidence. Data extraction and critical appraisal will be performed using the standardized JBI templates and checklists for qualitative research. All stages will be performed by 2 independent reviewers, with conflicts resolved by a third reviewer.

  • Team/Investigators

    Philip Dobek (The University of Adelaide), Dr Henry Bowen (Military and Emergency Services Health Australia MESHA), Peta Callaghan (The University of Adelaide)

  • Expected Completion Date

    21 April 2023

  • Article Identifier

    DOI: 10.11124/JBIES-22-00256

  • Journal Title

    JBI Evidence Synthesis

  • MeSH Terms

    emergency first responder; experiences; families; LGBTQIA+; military personnel

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