Scientific research is embracing the future with the announcement of the Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) study. Instead of the traditional pen to paper surveys, researchers are turning to a smartphone app based on Apple’s Research Kit.
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco announced earlier this week the largest study on the health of people who self-identify as part of the LGBT community.
The goal of the PRIDE study is to collect data on the health challenges and priorities of Americans who identify as part of either a sexual or gender minority.
For now, the study has pre-enrolled 600 participants who will use the iPhone app. Being built on Apple’s Research Kit, the study does have a barrier to entry. The app is isolated on iOS, but the team plans to roll out a web interface soon for those not using iOS devices.
Researchers want to start with gathering demographic data and basic health topics that are of importance to the community. From there, the jump off will be asking for information relating to priority healthcare topics and challenges.
While the LGBT community is coming off an incredible week with marriage equality becoming the law of the land, research into specific health questions facing people who identify as LGBT is underserved.
A 2011 Institute of Medicine report identified it as a glaring research gap that has to be filled.
What are some of the questions PRIDE could answer? Smaller studies have pointed to members of the LGBT community being susceptible to depression and anxiety. Higher instances of suicide have been seen within the community.
Having data on tens of thousands and hopefully millions from the community could answer the above questions definitively. It could also offer insight into what risk factors are prevalent in mental health issues impacting the LGBT community.
Also, questions surrounding public health may be answered. Take smoking. Are there different risk factors associated with why a member of the community takes up the habit? Lifestyle health choices will be zeroed in on with the PRIDE study and its accompanying app.
It’s fantastic marriage equality is the law of the land, but the cigarettes have to go. Welcome to give and take relationships…
Oh, and the research team that managed to work PRIDE in as the acronym? Give them props. Well done.