Breaking Down Barriers to Transgender Health Care: Would a Transgender-Only Clinic Help? [22OP]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The transgender community faces many barriers to care. As a result, they can be reluctant to seek health care and often have under-addressed medical needs. The aim of this study is to determine the type and frequency of barriers to care, how they find competent providers, and if they prefer a transgender-only clinic.

METHODS:

Transgender patients ages 18–65 participated in an online survey which included demographics, medical history, and perceptions of the healthcare system.

RESULTS:

120 surveys were collected. Mean age was 23.4 (SD 6.5, range 18–53), and majority was white (101, 84%). 119 (89%) had insurance with most (65, 54%) through a family member or employer. 34 (28%) had a minimum of a college degree, and 70 (58%) of people surveyed made less than $24,000 a year. Of the respondents, 83 (69%) experienced barriers to care. The majority (70, 84%) reported cost as a factor while 47 (57%) had problems with access to care. 33 (40%) experienced stigma and 23 (28%) reported discrimination. 79 (77%) find competent providers through word of mouth and 17 (17%) search the internet. Only 25 (23%) desired care in a transgender-only clinic. Comments reflect that many are uncomfortable for fear of being identified as transgender.

CONCLUSION:

Most transgender patients surveyed face barriers to care. These must be acknowledged and addressed so that health care they receive can be accessible and improved. The majority did not prefer to receive care in a clinic exclusive to transgender individuals, which is important to consider when working towards decreasing these barriers.

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