Doctors and researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are working with a national board of experts to understand how being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) affects health. Led by Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH and Mitchell R. Lunn, MD, the PRIDE Study is the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as LGBTQ or another sexual or gender minority.
The PRIDE Study, which stands for “Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality,” hopes to improve the overall health of the LGBTQ population by sharing findings with communities and health professionals. To accomplish this, researchers will study the unique health care disparities, strengths, and resiliencies unique to the LGBTQ community over many years.
This information is important for those providing education to patients based on data that does not clearly identify if being LGBTQ is a lifestyle factor of disease. There has been such scarcity of information that baseline demographics about the population did not exist until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported it’s findings last year.
“That data really matters. Around cancer, we know that white women are far more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer and black women are more likely to die from it. But we know nothing about lesbians.” study co-director Obedin-Maliver told SFGate.
Findings from the Pride Study will help shape the way health communicators and practitioners interact with the 1.6 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent who consider themselves bisexual. Those who work with the LGBTQ community are specifically needed to help recruit participants and can do so by downloading educational material and sharing information via social media.
Participants of the study must download the PRIDE app and fill out a brief online survey study that takes about 30 minutes to complete. Individuals need to be 18 or older and should expect to answer questions related to personal behavior, beliefs, and health. To get a better understanding of how life changes over time, specific topics may be addressed in following questionnaires as needed.
Enrollment for this study has already begun. More information can be found at pridestudy.org.