Brian de Vries, Ph.D. — The COVID-19 Pandemic and LGBT Older Canadians: A Focus on Advance Care Planning (ACP)

COVID-19 has been described as the first pandemic in a century. In fact, there have been other pandemics and epidemics since the Spanish Flu of 1920, including Tuberculosis, Polio, SARS, H1N1, and HIV/AIDS. Worldwide, 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS (; in North America, lesbian and especially gay and bisexual men, have been, and continue to be, disproportionately affected. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS has been a pivotal dimension in the LGBT rights movement through community confrontation of the stigma and discrimination encountered by persons living with HIV/AIDS and the failure of governments to address the health crisis as it unfolded. We proposed these experiences impact ways in which lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons experience the COVID-19 pandemic, including Advance Care Planning: they may experience greater distress and coping difficulties with COVID-19 than heterosexual age-peers; alternatively, they may be better prepared and report more prosocial behaviors.  We explored these possibilities through an online survey of 4380 Canadians aged 55+ conducted August 10-October 10, 2020; almost 7% (330) identified as LGBT+ and about one quarter (1143) reported having “been affected by one or more” of the pandemics listed above. 

Brian de Vries, Ph.D., is professor Emeritus of Gerontology at San Fran­cisco State University, with an adjunct appointment at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1988 and completed a post-doc at the University of Southern California the following year. Dr. de Vries is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), past Board member of the American Society on Aging (ASA) and former co-Chair of the LGBT Aging Issues Network constituent group. He was appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Board on the Health of Select Populations Committee which authored the influential book: The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.   Dr. de Vries has co-edited numerous professional journals and acclaimed academic books as well as authored or co-authored over 125 journal articles and book chapters on end of life preparations and experiences, the social and psychological well-being of midlife and older LGBT persons, among other topics.

For more information you may visit Dr. de Vries’ website, which allows people to contact him and learn about the study: