Conversations about research priorities with members of the public are rarely designed specifically to include people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) and are not researchers.
We carried out a rapid review of published research priority sets covering LGBTQ+ topics, and an online workshop.
The rapid review identified 18 LGBTQ+ research priority sets. Some focussed on specific populations such as women or men, younger or older people or people living within families. Five addressed transgender and gender non- conforming populations. All of the research priority sets originated from English-speaking, high and middle-income countries (UK, US, Canada, and Australia), and date from 2016 onwards. Prioritization approaches were wide-ranging from personal commentary to expert workshops and surveys.
Participants involved in setting priorities mostly included research academics, health practitioners and advocacy organisations, two studies involved LGBTQ+ public in their process. Research priorities identified in this review were then grouped into themes which were prioritised during the workshop.
For the workshop, participants were recruited using local (Cambridge, UK) LGBTQ+ networks and a national advert to a public involvement in research matching website to take part in an online discussion workshop. Those that took part were offered payment for their time in preparing for the workshop and taking part. Participants personal priorities and experiences contributed to a consensus development process and a final ranked list of seven research themes. Participants’ experiences of healthcare, mental health advocacy, care homes, caring responsibilities, schools and family units added additional contexts. These ranged from living with neurodiversity, and disability as well as experiencing social and economic inequalities and multigenerational health issues.
From the workshop the three research themes prioritised were: healthcare services delivery, prevention, and particular challenges /intersectionality of people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Research themes interconnected in many ways and this was demonstrated by the comments from workshop participants. This paper offers insights into why these priorities were important from participants’ perspectives and detail about how to run an inclusive and respectful public involvement research exercise. The workshop outcomes are currently being used to inform research funding applications by CLS.