Building LGBTQ Community-Driven Research

Washington, DC has the highest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) population (10%) among states in the nation (Gates and Newport, 2013). In highlighting the numerous research gaps surrounding LGBTQ mental and physical health and health services, a 2011 Institute of Medicine report stated that, “the existing body of evidence is sparse and that substantial research is needed” (IOM, 2011, p. 8). National data show that LGBTQ groups carry a "cluster of risk factors" that lead to greater cancer incidence and later stage diagnosis (National LGBT Cancer Network, 2013). However, a 2015 GW Cancer Institute report on LGBTQ health disparities in Washington, DC found there remains a lack of information about the health status and needs of LGBTQ individuals locally.

Beginning August 1, 2016, GW Cancer Center will work to better understand the health concerns of LGBTQ individuals in DC in order to develop research that will compare the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce risk, alleviate disparities and improve cancer-related patient-reported outcomes. We intend to expand existing partnerships with LGBTQ-serving community-based organizations; launch a community advisory board (CAB) made up of LGBTQ patients, community members, researchers and health care professionals; work with the CAB to refine a survey to distribute through community partners and other channels to prioritize health needs and potential research strategies to mitigate disparities; and work with the CAB to prioritize top research needs develop a CER research proposal to submit for funding.

This work is supported by a contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute through the Pipeline to Proposals mechanism.

Interested in participating or learning more? Please email: or call (202) 994-8187.