Annals of Family Medicine: Researchers Describe Clinical Experiences of Transgender People, Recommend Strategies to Reduce Negative Health Consequences

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Many transgender people experience mistreatment in healthcare encounters, which can include harassment, assault and denial of care. A new paper published in the September/October 2023 issue of Annals of Family Medicine describes the clinical experiences of transgender people. Study authors also present short-term and long-term strategies towards reducing oppression and its health consequences among this patient population.

“Understanding the experiences of transgender people when their gender identities are known to clinicians and the reasons transgender people may share, modify, or withhold information could yield important clinical insights,” the authors write.

Researchers from the Yale Cancer Center, Brown University, and the University of Rochester Medical Center held seven qualitative focus groups with 30 transgender adults living in North America. They identified four themes: 1) transgender people often perceive clinicians’ questions as voyeuristic, stigmatizing, or self-protective; 2) patients describe being pathologized, denied or given substandard care, or harmed when clinicians learned they are transgender; 3) transgender people frequently choose between risking stigma when sharing information and risking ineffective clinical problem-solving if clinicians do not have all the information about their medical histories; and 4) improving the safety of transgender people is difficult in the context of contemporary medical systems.

The authors conclude that transgender people often must choose between stigma and potentially suboptimal care. Given this, the authors recommend that family medicine clinicians 1) ensure that their questions are medically relevant and explain their medical relevance to patients; 2) avoid putting information in patients’ EHR that may be used to stigmatize them; 3) advocate for patients who are stigmatized by other clinicians; and 4) shift the medical culture by ensuring formal curriculum, guidelines, and patient-facing forms and documents are inclusive of transgender people.

Article Cited: Transgender People’s Experiences Sharing Information with Clinicians: A Focus Group-Based Qualitative Study. Ash B. Alpert, Jamie E. Mehringer, Sunshine J. Orta, Tresne Hernandez, Emile Redwood, Lexis Rivers, Charlie Manzano, Roman Ruddick, Spencer Adams, Jae Sevelius, Emma Belanger, Don Operario, Jennifer J. Griggs

Related research in the September/October issue of Annals of Family Medicine:

Erythrocytosis in Gender Affirming Care With Testosterone. Alana Tova Porat, Meghan Ellwood, Marisa Rodina, Terence Rustia, Shokoufeh Dianat.

From Medicalization to Empowerment: New Horizons in Transgender Care. Mary-Frances E. Hall and Daphna Stroumsa.

Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed, indexed research journal that provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information affecting the primary care disciplines. Launched in May 2003, Annals is sponsored by seven family medical organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Board of Family Medicine, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, the North American Primary Care Research Group, and The College of Family Physicians of Canada. Annals is published online six times each year and contains original research from the clinical, biomedical, social and health services areas, as well as contributions on methodology and theory, selected reviews, essays and editorials. Complete editorial content and interactive discussion groups for each published article can be accessed for free on the journal’s website,

SOURCE Annals of Family Medicine