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2023 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3002 — Why and How to Address Gender and Sex in VA HSR&D Research

Lead/Presenter: Elizabeth Goldsmith,  COIN - Minneapolis
All Authors: Goldsmith ES, Minneapolis VA; Duan-Porter W, Minneapolis VA; Danan ER, Minneapolis VA;

Workshop Objectives:
This workshop will build skills in gender and sex equity in research for VA health services investigators. Designing, analyzing, and presenting study findings without attention to gender and sex can misrepresent benefits and harms related to gender and/or sex-based differences, and misses opportunities to understand and improve health for women, men, and gender-diverse people. Our purpose is to provide practical tools to demystify the concepts of gender and sex in health services research, via the following workshop objectives: 1. Define gender and sex in the context of health research 2. Demonstrate approaches to addressing gender and sex in primary and secondary data analysis and reporting 3. Illustrate strategies to overcome challenges in evaluating gender and sex in VA research 4. Appraise evaluation of sex and gender in grant proposals and manuscripts

Workshop participants will be guided through three sets of brief didactics, each followed by breakout small group case discussions and interactive large group sessions. First, workshop leaders will define gender and sex in health services research contexts and review primary data collection tools. We will also address using VA administrative data to evaluate gender and sex effects. In Discussion 1, participants will break out into small groups to work through brief cases addressing gender and sex in study design, and then report back during a large group discussion. Workshop leaders will then demonstrate methods of considering gender and sex in analysis and reporting. In Discussion 2, participants will work through related cases, followed again by large-group discussion. Finally, workshop leaders will illustrate strategies for overcoming challenges in evaluating sex and gender (particularly methods and resources for recruitment of women and gender-diverse Veterans in VA research). In Discussion 3, participants will appraise example grant text for sex and gender considerations, followed by large-group discussion and summary of relevant VA-specific resources. The workshop is strengthened by collaboration with and planned participation of VA content experts and partners from the VA Women’s Health Research Network (represented by Alison Hamilton), the VA LGBTQ+ Health Program (Jillian Shipherd), and the Cooperative Studies Program (Karen Goldstein). Training materials will be informed by SAGER (Sex and Gender Equity in Research) Guidelines and adapted from Canadian Institute of Health Research Gender and Health training modules, among other resources. An earlier version of this workshop (presented at Society for General Internal Medicine 2022) has been adapted to focus on VA-specific challenges and resources.

Target Audience:
Health services researchers of all career stages

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
No assumed or prerequisite knowledge