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Researchers need to engage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transginder populations in health studies
Date:3/31/2011

oblem. Moreover, it is difficult to synthesize data about these groups when studies and surveys use a variety of ways to define them.

Because demographic data provide the foundation for understanding any population's status and needs, federally funded surveys should proactively collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity, just as they routinely gather information on race and ethnicity, the report says. Information on patients' sexual orientation and gender identity also should be collected in electronic health records, provided that privacy concerns can be satisfactorily addressed, the committee said. The National Institutes of Health should support the development of standardized measures of sexual orientation and gender identity for use in federal surveys and other means of data collection.

In addition, NIH should provide training opportunities in conducting research with LGBT populations. Training should engage researchers who are not specifically studying LGBT health issues as well as those who are. The agency also should use its policy on the inclusion of women and racial and ethnic minorities in clinical research as a model to encourage grant applicants to address how their proposed studies will include or exclude sexual and gender minorities.


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Contact: Christine Stencel
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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