Post submitted by Gabe Murchison, former Senior Research Manager
The HRC Foundation is proud to be a community partner of The PRIDE Study, a groundbreaking study of LGBTQ health based at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF), now launching the main phase of its research. Starting this week, LGBTQ adults from across the U.S. can join through the study’s secure, state-of-the-art online portal.
The study, led by UCSF researchers Mitchell R. Lunn, MD and Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, is the first to explore the health of the entire LGBTQ community with a longitudinal cohort approach—meaning that participants share information about their health and well-being over time. The study is designed to address a wide range of health topics, such as heart disease, mental health and healthcare experiences. During a pilot phase, thousands of participants shared feedback on the priorities they want the research to address, with top areas including depression, anxiety and how family support influences health.
To reach participants throughout the U.S., the study team has partnered with a broad array of LGBTQ community, health and advocacy organizations, including HRC Foundation. HRC staff have taken part in the project’s Participant Advisory Council, and HRC is using its national reach to help the study team connect with members and supporters in every state. HRC will share information about the study online and at events. This summer, visitors to HRC booths at select pride festivals will be able to pick up PRIDE Study materials.
The PRIDE Study, funded by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, fills an urgent need for research on the health of LGBTQ people. Bias and discrimination have created numerous health disparities (preventable health differences) between LGBTQ people and their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Although scientists have made major progress in identifying these problems and designing ways to address them, many research studies and medical records still collect little or no information about sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression—hampering efforts to identify and correct disparities.
Along with supporting key research initiatives like the PRIDE Study, HRC is working to improve healthcare for LGBTQ patients through the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The 2017 HEI, released in April, identified 304 ‘Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality’ and rates a total of 1,619 healthcare facilities across the U.S. Facilities earned points by implementing a range of best practices for LGBTQ patient-centered care, including the collection of patient self-identified sexual orientation and gender identity information as part of their electronic health records.
Results from the PRIDE Study will shape HRC’s ongoing work on LGBTQ health and healthcare. Those results will also be shared directly with PRIDE Study participants as part of the study’s commitment to community engagement. After signing up, patients can even access real-time information about the study, such as how many fellow participants hail from their state. While most participants will take part online, there are also mail-in or phone options for those with limited internet access.
HRC is excited to be a part of the PRIDE Study’s critical work, and to share updates as the study progresses. Besides signing up for the study, supporters can help by spreading the word. Images and shareable social media posts are are available on the study web site.
To learn more about HRC’s work on LGBTQ health and well-being, visit http://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/health-and-aging.