Here’s where we tell you how your participation helps make the world better for LGBTQ+ people. Read on to find out some of what YOUR studies have found!
But first, this brief video talks about research questions and how scientists develop them. Sometimes the answer a study gets to a research question is surprising or things don’t work out the way researchers expect. These kinds of results are also considered important and we think it’s our responsibility to report them to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrWeLJZydUU
We're committed to getting our results back to the participants and communities who made the research possible. See our Research Dissemination Plan here:
Study #4 What Mental Health Providers Want to Know About Helping LGBTQ+ People
Supporting sexual and gender minority health: Research priorities from mental health professionals
Community Summary of Findings
What Did We Do?
An internet survey was emailed to mental health providers asking about 62 different topics. We wanted to know which ones are important in their care of LGBTQ+ people. We also asked if there were any other topics that we should include in the survey.
One hundred and sixty-three mental health providers responded:
˙30% were psychiatrists
˙18.5% were marriage and family therapists
˙18% were psychologists
˙13% were social workers
˙13% were mental health counselors
˙7% belonged to several different professions in mental health
Just over half of these providers gave us new topics that were important to their care of LGBTQ+ people.
What was new/innovative/novel?
Directly surveying providers is not common. Asking providers who care for LGBTQ+ people to help guide a study is new. So, it may take less time to bring study results to the providers who need information to improve care if they were involved in choosing the topics.
What did we learn?
Mental health providers said that of the 62 topics, the most important to their care of LGBTQ+ people were:
˙stress related to being LGBTQ+
˙lifestyle factors that support emotional strength and health
We learned that there are areas that we did not ask the mental health providers about, but that they would like to more research on.
˙24% wanted more research on relationships among LGBTQ+ people:
˙Sexual relationships with many partners
˙Family relationships such as LGBTQ+ children and their families
˙Community relationships such as how LGBTQ+ people fit into their communities
˙22% wanted more research on how LGBTQ+ and other identities (such as race, ethnicity, immigration status, or disability) affect their health and experiences.
What does this mean for our communities?
There are opportunities to improve the information that mental health providers have, so that they can better care for LGBTQ+ people. While some topics have been covered in research, they remain important to providers and should continue to be researched.
There are new topics (listed above) we can share with mental health providers that may improve care.
Study results will be used to help inform the topics covered in The PRIDE Study. Some of the topics, such as depression and suicide, have been researched many times. This study shows there may be more ways to help care for LGBTQ+ people.
See http://www.pridestudy.org/study for more information and to share this study with your friends and family.
Citation: Clark, Kristen D., Matthew R. Capriotti, Juno Obedin-Maliver, Mitchell R. Lunn, Micah E. Lubensky, and Annesa Flentje. “Supporting Sexual and Gender Minority Health: Research Priorities from Mental Health Professionals.” Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, December 17, 2019, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/19359705.2019.1700865
Study #5: Substance use among underrepresented LGBTQ+ communities
Characterization of substance use among underrepresented sexual and gender minority participants in The Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study.
What Did We Do?
Substance use can have a dramatic impact on peoples’ personal and professional lives. Over time, substance use can put people at risk of certain types of cancer and cause heart and liver problems. LGBTQ+ community members may be at higher risk of using substances due to increased discrimination and stressful experiences like coming out to unsupportive family and friends. This study looked at substance use among 1,790 LGBTQ+ adults. About 40% (691) of these folks may not have been able to take part in previous research due to having non-LGB sexual orientations such as asexual, pansexual, or queer, and/or identify as genderqueer, transmasculine, or transfeminine. We looked for difference among these groups in the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal or non-prescribed drugs.
What Was New/Innovative/Novel?
This is the first study to look at substance use among diverse LGBTQ+ community members, such as people who identify as pansexual, asexual, queer, transmasculine, transfeminine, and genderqueer, and not just lesbian, gay or bisexual.
What Did We Learn?
Over half (51%) of the LGBTQ+ people in this study reported binge drinking within the last year, almost 40% reported marijuana used within the past year, and nearly 20% reported illegal or non-prescribed use of other drugs. Additionally, 30% reported feeling that alcohol, marijuana or other drug use had been an issue in their life. This study found that alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use was different among different groups of LGBTQ+ people who have not been part of research on substance use in the past, including transmasculine, transfeminine, and genderqueer people who identify as asexual and queer.
What Does This Mean For Our Communities?
This work shows that more research is needed to better understand the effects of substance use in our diverse LGBTQ+ communities. Not all members of this community use the same substances in the same way. So, we need to create better screening guidelines and treatment programs by including diverse people from all sexual orientations and genders to better understand substance use in LGBTQ+ communities.
Alcohol use screening helps healthcare providers to identify and treat patients for possible alcohol use problems. However, current screening guidelines are based on gender and don’t include transgender and gender expansive people. We have already started to look at screening guidelines for possible harmful alcohol use among these groups.
Share this study with your friends and family.
Branden T. Barger, Juno Obedin-Maliver, Matthew R. Capriotti, Mitchell R. Lunn & Annesa Flentje (2020): Characterization of substance use among underrepresented sexual and gender minority participants in The Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study, Substance Abuse, DOI: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1702610