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PRIDE study of LGBTQ health now based at Stanford

The study is collecting demographic and health information from participants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, as well as suggestions for the health topics to be studied.

Mitchell Lunn and Juno Obedin-Maliver are leading The PRIDE study.
Susan Merrell

When Mitchell Lunn, MD, and Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, launched their long-term study of sexual and gender minority health, they knew they wanted the patients, not the doctors, to drive the research.     

In the pilot phase of The PRIDE Study (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), 16,000 participants completed demographic and health surveys, and shared more than 3,500 topics for future investigation. They wanted the researchers to study anxiety, depression and suicide in people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; the role of family support in both physical and mental health; and why many LGBTQ people persevere in the face of stigma and discrimination, among other topics.

“We don’t do research on LGBT people, we do research with them. It’s a little less transactional and a little more relationship based,” Lunn said.

Lunn and Obedin-Maliver, who met as students at the School of Medicine in 2005, recently returned to Stanford as faculty members. The assistant professors — Lunn is a nephrologist, and Obedin-Maliver is an obstetrician/gynecologist —are starting a new program in sexual and gender minority health research, in addition to moving The PRIDE Study’s home base from UCSF to Stanford. 

The pilot phase of the study that began in 2015 used an iPhone app to recruit participants. The study relaunched in 2017 on a web-based platform to reach a more diverse pool of participants. It has attracted nearly 14,000 people and continues to seek more.

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