Howard Brown Health Center to Begin Nation's First Study on 

Quality of Life in Lesbian Cancer Patients

Howard Brown Health Center will collaborate with the University of Chicago on an innovative research study entitled ``Social support, quality of life and coping in lesbian cancer patients.'' Funded by a $145,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and directed by Principal Investigator Alicia Matthews, Ph.D., the study is thought to be the nation's first quantitative investigation of the health and quality of life of lesbians following a cancer diagnosis.

The two-year study will compare lesbian and heterosexual women using data compiled from both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including focus groups and structured face-to-face interviews. Findings will describe the quality of life concerns, supportive needs, patient-provider communication, and emotional adjustment of the participants and will specifically explore the impact of sexual orientation on those factors.

``This grant is an indication of the progressive nature of the Komen Foundation,'' said Matthews. ``The foundation put out a specific request for projects focusing on underserved populations, including lesbians and communities of color. We are honored to be involved with such an incredible organization and applaud its commitment to increasing research on marginalized communities.''

First results are due in 2001. To participate call: Patty Delaney, project coordinator (773)388-8869 Must have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last five years.

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