As interest into LGBT communities soars at sky-high levels in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling which outlawed the possibility of banning gay marriages nationwide, one of the more interesting announcements regarding the subject came from University of California researchers, who have started a massive health study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons with the help of a tool already spread around the country – the iPhone.
The research, which is shortened as PRIDE (standing for Populations Research in Identity and Disparity for Equality) aims to finally create a scientific base of discussion around the potential health issues and risk factors of LGBT communities and either dispel or offer solid research for all the myths surrounding them.
It will study the incidence and outcomes of several widespread conditions – such cancer, obesity, HIV/AIDS or depression – in both LGBT and non-LGBT individuals on a bigger scale than former inconclusive studies, and seeks to see if there is any notable difference in risk factors between them.
“The main question there is, what is the relationship between being LGBTQ — or more broadly a sexual or gender minority person — and mental and physical health?” said Mitchell Lunn, a nephrologist at UCSF and co-director of the PRIDE Study.
To participate in the study, those interested can download a free app from the Apple Store and must complete a sign-up form which will determine demographic information. The app is not restricted to iPhones or iPads; it can be also used on a laptop, but there has been no news regarding an Android version.
The initial questionnaire will take about 10-15 minutes to complete, and will be followed by a more detailed one regarding help. The study itself is meant to span a very long term for it to be conclusive (possibly more than a decade) and so the participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire on an yearly basis. Signing in for the program does not constrict you in continuing it – you can stop at any time you want, though the data you’ve already disclosed will be used in any relevant measurements it might aid.
But an apparent flaw of this LGBT health study might not see it go through at the scale wanted by its researchers. At its current state, it is quite dependent on iPhones or iPads, and with new versions coming out almost yearly there is no guarantee that most of the study base will continue to download and follow the app if, for example, they upgrade their phone or switch to another device.
Image Source: Daily Times Gazette