Research Matters: Trans and gender diverse health and wellbeing

CPD Hours: 1
Current as at 27 October 2021
The term Transgender/Gender Diverse (TGD) is used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

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“Discover the key aspects of the literature on the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people”

Course Content

The term Transgender/Gender Diverse (TGD) is used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex to which they were assigned at birth. This includes binary transgender women and transgender men, along with people who do not identify with a single-gender (e.g., non-binary or agender) or do not adhere to a societally prescribed binary notion of gender. 

While a few studies of hospitalization experience correlates have been done in the general population, none have addressed the TGD populations’ specific experiences of hospitalization. Age, involuntary / voluntary hospitalization, and trust in a provider can be expected to extend to the TGD experience of hospitalization, but the specific external and internal minority stressors should be considered as well, such as, internalized transphobia, negative self-concept, or low self-esteem, affect hospitalization experiences.

Another factor to consider includes whether the TGD individual has ever been fearful of coming out to a therapist, due to fear of discrimination or mistreatment, research has shown that about 70% of TGD individuals’ experience gender-related discrimination in health care. 

There is a rising demand for transgender health services, and researchers observe an increased prevalence of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and ASD higher than the general population. A coordinated multidisciplinary approach to transgender health care, including psychosocial interventions to support mental health and neurobehavioral conditions in adults in parallel to gender-affirming treatments, is essential to meet the needs of this socially disadvantaged cohort.

There are many future research priorities, including studies to assess and understand the links between neurobehavioral conditions and gender dysphoria, clinical trials to provide evidence-based treatment pathways and studies to evaluate optimal models of health service provision to improve quality of life and minimize mental health burden.

Until further evidence is available, the provision of health services could be tailored to the specific health needs of transgender individuals with a focus on continual quality improvement as new knowledge and data arise.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Discover the key aspects of the literature on the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people
  • Learn how health issues differ within the trans and gender diverse groupings
  • Identify gaps in the knowledge that exists in quantifying and describing the experience of LGBTIQ people in Australian healthcare
  • Discuss the need for further research of the needs of gender affirmation in Australia
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