The CSPH’s Emergency Department Query for Patient-Centered Approaches to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (EQUALITY) Study is looking for the best way to collect Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO/GI) information from patients in the Emergency Department (ED). This multisite, multi-year study leverages an exploratory sequential mixed-methods design. First, researchers conducted 79 in-depth qualitative study (53 patients and 26 providers) in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC area. With feedback from a Stakeholder Advisory Board, the results from these interviews informed the development of quantitative surveys, which were then administered to 1,516 potential patients who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight, and 429 ED providers, including both physicians and nurses.
Several publications have resulted from the three phases of the study. One of the most recent, in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that 77.8 percent of physicians thought patients would refuse to provide their SO in the ED. However, only 10.3% of patients said they would refuse to provide such information. The CSPH plans to apply for a Dissemination and Implementation funding to apply findings from the EQUALITY Study in more emergency care situations.