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Background: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience disproportionate rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Findings report rates of IPV among LGBT individuals ranging from 31.1%-61.1%, which is higher compared to 29%-35% with their cisgender peers. There is limited research regarding the impact of IPV in LGBT relationships through an occupational therapy lens. Purpose: This research project intends to identify occupational limitations by addressing the required needs and resources of individuals from LGBT IPV to improve their quality of life. The research acquired can be used to identify problem areas to provide culturally safe care to an underserved population during a vulnerable period. Research Question: The study hopes to answer the research question: “How does LGBT intimate partner violence impact occupational performance?” and “How does LGBT intimate partner violence impact personal narratives?” Methods: Surveys and voluntary live formal interviews. Results: Qualitative data: Data analysis generated five themes: (a) universal experience, (b) power of connection, (c) blurring of lines, and (d) nuance and complexity. Quantitative data: 75%+ moderate impact on pursuing or engaging in intimate relationships, friends, leisure, and play. 100% of participants did not identify religious participation as a major role in their life; 27-36% of participants identified being a family member, friend, and worker to be the major role in their life. Conclusion: Further research on the difference in needs of LGBTQ+ versus heteronormative IPV; to inform OT practice and advocacy needs. OTs' role in providing culturally relevant care in LGBTQ+ safe spaces (i.e., LGBT centers) and across all healthcare settings.

Publication Date

Spring 5-12-2023


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


LGBTQ+, domestic violence, mental health, LGBTQ+, occupational performance, role, identity

Medical Subject Headings

Sexual and Gender Minorities, Transgender Persons, Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Quality of Life, Occupational Therapy, Inerviews


Occupational Therapy | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Poster presented at the Spring 2023 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 4 and April 12, 2023.

An Exploration of Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Relationships