The study found better mental health among transgender patients with PCP support

Source / Disclosures


Treharne GJ, et al. Family practice. 2022; doi: 10.1093 / fampra / cmac005.

Disclosures: Researchers do not report relevant financial disclosures.

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Transgender people who say they have received supportive primary care are more likely to report better mental health, according to a study published in Family practice.

However, only about half of the transgender people in the study said they had supportive primary care physicians.

“The findings of this study reinforce the urgent need to provide high-quality gender-based and routine primary care for transgender people.” Ron Carol, Ph.D, general practitioner and senior lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand and colleagues write.

The study included 948 transgender people aged 14 to 83 in New Zealand who graduated in 2018. research. Participants were hired through links made with transgender groups and social media ads. They were asked two sets of questions about their health care experiences, one about negative health care experiences and the other about experiences with PCP support, as well as questions about non-suicidal self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Only about 57% of participants reported feeling treated in the same way as other patients when they consulted PCP for non-transgender health needs, according to the results. A lower proportion – 48.2% – said their GPs supported their gender-sensitive care needs.

Negative health experiences are associated with higher levels of psychological distress, non-suicidal self-harm, and suicide, while positive experiences are associated with lower levels of psychological stress and non-suicidal self-harm, according to Carol and colleagues. Each additional supportive PCP experience resulted in an 11% reduction in the likelihood of suicide attempt, while each negative healthcare experience associated a 20% increase in the likelihood of suicide attempt.

In addition, 47% of participants said they had to train a healthcare provider to receive appropriate care, and about 43% said their PCP was ready to be educated in gender-based care. Less than a quarter of participants said their GPs knew a lot about gender-based care.

Carol said that PCPs do not need to be experts in transgender healthcare, but they “need to understand some basics and then be respected”.

“If you don’t know something, tell the patient, ‘I’m not very familiar with this, but I’ll find out,'” she told Healio.

The results of this study confirm the need for PCPs to support transgender care, according to Carroll.

“If we can try to create positive and supportive experiences, even if we don’t know all the answers, it seems to be good for people’s mental health,” she said.

Transsexual health care is not routinely taught in general practice in New Zealand, and the level of training and education that PCPs receive may lag behind that in other countries, Carroll said. She suggests that transgender people work with the PCP as teachers.

“Get community members to help with some of the more vivid experiences,” Carol said. – from Alison Flynn Becker


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