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Recommendations for Improvement

Solarz[6] presents many of the problems with the current status of research on lesbian health and outlines possible recommendations. Some of which are to:

  • increase funding for research on lesbian health issues

  • include questions about sexual orientation and behaviour on all research data collection forms

  • include the full spectrum of the lesbian population in research

  • disseminate the information learned from conducting research

The current gold standard for medical research is the randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial. This type of research is not necessarily the best type of research to elicit the life experiences of the LGBT population, nor is it able to address issues like heterosexism in the culture of medicine or systemic biases to care. Community based research where the LGBT community is involved in, not only conducting the research, but deciding what research questions to ask, would be a much better way of getting the right questions asked and improving the care that the LGBT population receives. Qualitative research would allow the stories and life circumstances of community members to be revealed and would enhance our understanding of the issues most relevant to this population.

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6. Solarz, AL Ed. Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future. Washington DC. National Academy Press; 1999.

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