Hormonal Therapy Is Associated With Better Self-esteem, Mood, and Quality of Life in Transsexuals

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Abstract

Few studies have assessed the role of cross-sex hormones on psychological outcomes during the period of hormonal therapy preceding sex reassignment surgery in transsexuals. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between hormonal therapy, self-esteem, depression, quality of life (QoL), and global functioning. This study incorporated a cross-sectional design. The inclusion criteria were diagnosis of gender identity disorder (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision) and inclusion in a standardized sex reassignment procedure. The outcome measures were self-esteem (Social Self-Esteem Inventory), mood (Beck Depression Inventory), QoL (Subjective Quality of Life Analysis), and global functioning (Global Assessment of Functioning). Sixty-seven consecutive individuals agreed to participate. Seventy-three percent received hormonal therapy. Hormonal therapy was an independent factor in greater self-esteem, less severe depression symptoms, and greater “psychological-like” dimensions of QoL. These findings should provide pertinent information for health care providers who consider this period as a crucial part of the global sex reassignment procedure.

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