Institute of Medicine Seeks More Research On LGBT Health Gaps

Apr 1, 2011, 7:53 PM

Persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender face unique barriers to health care, but a new study shows that much more research is needed to fully understand what those obstacles are and what steps are needed to remove them.

In a new report, the Institute of Medicine for the first time issued a set of concrete recommendations for better understanding and meeting the health needs of the LGBT community.

Some key recommendations:

  • That the National Institutes of Health develop a research agenda for addressing LGBT health issues, including an examination of demographics and inequities in health care services and coverage
  • That federally funded health surveys include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Other efforts to address health care inequities are already underway at the state and federal levels, and the IOM report could spur an added focus on gaps in care for the LGBT population.

WEIGH IN: Has your community conducted any research on what kinds of barriers people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender face? What practices can you share that are working?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.