University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: New grant to study alcohol use in transgender community

New grant to study alcohol use in transgender community

05/30/2018
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Emily Williams, associate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a two-year, $456,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study alcohol use among transgender adults.

The grant will also allow Williams and her colleagues to investigate whether evidence-based interventions to reduce unhealthy drinking behavior are received equitably in the population.

“Our hope is that the study will ultimately lead to improved health in this key stigmatized population,” Williams said. “We also hope that use of these methods for this study may help pioneer transgender health research processes related to alcohol use such that they are scalable in other healthcare systems.”

Findings from the study will lay the foundation for future intervention research aimed at reducing alcohol use and its related risks among transgender individuals. This is one of the first studies to describe patterns of alcohol use among transgender individuals, and no prior study has described whether alcohol use is appropriately addressed clinically among this population.

Researchers will use national data from the Veterans Health Administration, a dataset that offers a unique opportunity to identify nearly 11,000 transgender patients receiving care over seven years. They will employ methods developed by co-principal investigator John Blosnich, a research health scientist at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh.