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2015 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3024 — Incorporating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans into Health Services Research

Matza AR, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Program, Office of Patient Care Services (10P4Y), VACO; Shipherd JC, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Program, Office of Patient Care Services (10P4Y), VACO; National Center for PTSD (116B-3); Mattocks KM, VA Central Western Massachusetts; University of Massachusetts Medical School; Bloeser KJ, War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC); Lehavot K, Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D), VA Puget Sound Health Care System; Blosnich JR, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System;

Objectives:
After viewing this poster/presentation, conference attendees should be able to: 1) articulate relevant LGBT terms and concepts; 2) explain significant documented health disparities experienced by LGBT Veterans; 3) summarize rationale of why to include sexual orientation and gender identity in health sciences and related research; 4) describe key recommendations, including best practices of how to incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity into health sciences and related research; 5) list VA-specific LGBT health resources for researchers and providers; 5) apply relevant best practices to future health services research.

Methods:
The poster/presentation will provide content for researchers new to this topic as well as more experienced LGBT researchers. The poster/presentation will include: 1) terminology and concepts useful in studying sexual and gender minorities (e.g., lesbian, transgender, MSM, etc.); 2) a summary of health disparities affecting LGBT Veterans drawn from the research literature; 3) brief rationale of why to include sexual orientation and gender identity in health services research; 4) an overview of best practices of how to incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity in qualitative and quantitative research; and 5) list of VA-specific LGBT Veteran resources including trainings, workgroups, and SharePoints.

Results:
Attendees will receive a handout of best practices of how to incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity in qualitative and quantitative research and a resource sheet of VA-specific LGBT Veteran resources for researchers including trainings, workgroups, and SharePoints.

Implications:
Given the minority stress associated with these demographic variables, which can impact outcomes assessed over a wide spectrum of health sciences research, all VA researchers need to learn how to integrate sexual and gender minority Veterans into their research.

Impacts:
There are an estimated 1 million gay and lesbian Veterans with 65,000 gay and lesbian active duty service members (Gates, 2004; Gates, 2010). While the prevalence of transgender Veterans is unknown, there are at least 134,000 transgender Veterans (Gates and Herman, 2014). Using VA administrative data, prevalence of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) among VA Veterans 5x non-Veteran population (Blosnich et al., 2014). Integrating sexual and gender minority people into research is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other NGOs.