PGIF Update: Addressing Research Gaps on Sexual Minority Health in Chile

February 12, 2020

At end-January, the Columbia University School of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Global Health, Tonda Hughes, and Assistant Professor Billy Caceres traveled to Chile to meet with local co-investigators and advance their PGIF project study on research gaps on sexual minority health in Chile.

As documented in Hughes’ PGIF application, there are substantial health disparities when it comes to sexual orientation.  The study team is employing data from the third National Health Survey of the Chilean population—the first to include a question about sexual identity—to advocate for policies and programs that support the health and well-being of Chilean lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.

Activities during the visit included meeting with community stakeholders to discuss pressing health concerns for sexual and gender minorities (SGM) in Chile; identifying next steps for work beyond the present study, including a mixed methods study to assess and improve sexual and gender identity questions and expand the number and representativeness of the SGM sample in Chile; reviewing preliminary analyses of data from the National Health Survey and planning dissemination of findings.

The study team further planned additional analyses of National Health Survey data and created a timeline for completing the present study and preparing manuscripts for publication, expected for May or June of this year.

During their time in Chile, Hughes and Caceres also gave a presentation to Universidad Católica (UC) faculty and students regarding their research, including trajectories and current research projects. Additionally, Hughes met with the Director of International Affairs at UC’s School of Nursing, Lilian Ferrer, to review plans related to their World Health Organization Collaborating Centers at Columbia University and the UC in Chile.