Determinants of Transgender Individuals' Well-Being, Mental Health, and Suicidality in a Rural State.
ABSTRACT: This project utilized a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach to conduct qualitative interviews with 30 transgender adults living in a rural state. Participants' identities spanned from trans women and men to non-binary and Two-Spirit. The aim of this study was to better understand the experiences, needs, and priorities of the participants as well as to examine possible determinants of mental health, well-being, and suicidality for transgender individuals in Montana. These factors were investigated at individual, interpersonal, community, and societal levels using an ecological framework. Qualitative results indicate that participants experienced discrimination at all levels. Participants noted that discrimination contributed to mental health challenges and limited access to adequate general and transgender-specific healthcare services, both of which impacted overall well-being. This is reflected most notably in the elevated rate of past suicidal ideation attempts among the sample. Participants reported that the ability to transition, as well as other protective factors, played a role in reducing suicidality and improving mental and physical health. Our findings highlight the need to address transgender mental health through implementing changes at multiple ecological levels.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Transgender women have multiple disparities globally, including social rejection and stigma, HIV infection and untreated mental health problems. However, few data on transgender women are available in China. Therefore, this study aimed to explore transgender women's experiences on gender identity, disclosure, discrimination, transgender-specific medical care, and perceptions of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) risk in China. METHODS:A qualitative study was conducted in Nanjing and Suzhou city, China in 2018. Key informant interviews (n?=?14) and focus group discussions (n?=?2) with diverse transgender women were implemented. Text was transcribed and translated, and Dedoose™ software was used for coding, analysis and interpretation by the research team. RESULTS:Chinese transgender women share experiences with transgender women worldwide, including a long and challenging identity search, stigma and discrimination, poor access to trans-specific services and unmet needs for mental health care. Features unique to them include terms used for self-identification, culturally-shaped expectations for reproduction, and ideals of placing the familial and societal welfare over personal fulfillment. Social networks of this population appear sparse, scattered, and underground. Familial rejection was experienced by nearly all respondents. Perceptions of HIV and STI risk and history of HIV testing were notably low. CONCLUSIONS:Transgender women in China face high social rejection and discrimination along with unmet need for various types of healthcare. Scaling up transgender-specific services including gender-affirming medical care, mental health care and HIV/STI prevention are warranted to address the social, medical and mental health of transgender women in China.
Project description:HIV disproportionately impacts transgender communities and the majority of new infections occur in the Southern United States. Yet, limited data exists on contextual realities of HIV vulnerability and healthcare needs among transgender individuals in the Deep South. Addressing this gap in the literature, we assess the health needs, including barriers and facilitators to accessing healthcare, including and beyond HIV, from the perspective of transgender men and women in Mississippi. Between June-August 2014, in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 14) were conducted with adult transgender persons at an LGBT healthcare setting in Jackson, Mississippi. In-depth interviews lasted between 60-90 minutes and followed semi-structured format (themes probed: HIV vulnerability, healthcare needs, and availability of gender-affirming medical care). Audio files were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Dedoose (v.6.1.18). Among participants (mean age = 23.3 years, standard deviation = 4.98), 43% identified as a transgender man or on a transmasculine spectrum, 43% as Black, and 21% self-reported living with HIV. HIV-related services were frequently described as the primary gateway to accessing healthcare needs. Nonetheless, participants' primary health concerns were: gender affirmation processes (hormones, silicone, binding/packing); mental health; and drug/alcohol use. Stigma and discrimination were commonly reported in healthcare settings and health-related information was primarily attained through social networks and online resources. Results highlight gender identity alongside race and pervasive marginalization as key social determinants of transgender health in Mississippi. As Mississippi is one of several states actively debating transgender access to public accommodations, findings underscore the need to treat transgender health as a holistic and multidimensional construct, including, but moving beyond, HIV prevention and care.
Project description:Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people are a highly-stigmatized population. For this reason, they might internalize society's normative gender attitudes and develop negative mental health outcomes. As an extension of the minority stress model, the psychological mediation framework sheds light on psychological processes through which anti-transgender discrimination might affect mental health. Within this framework, the current study aimed at assessing in 149 TGNC Italian individuals the role of internalized transphobia as a mediator between anti-transgender discrimination and mental health, considering resilience as the individual-level coping mechanism buffering this relationship. The results suggest that both indicators of internalized transphobia (i.e., shame and alienation) mediate the relationship between anti-transgender discrimination and depression, while only alienation mediates the relationship between anti-transgender discrimination and anxiety. Furthermore, the results suggest that the indirect relation between anti-transgender discrimination and anxiety through alienation is conditional on low and moderate levels of resilience. Findings have important implications for clinical practice and psycho-social interventions to reduce stigma and stress caused by interpersonal and individual stigma.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Important mental and physical health disparities exist for transgender and gender diverse youth compared with cisgender youth (i.e., those whose birth-assigned sex and gender identity align), yet little is known about factors that protect transgender and gender diverse youth from health problems. The objective of this paper is to identify modifiable protective factors in the lives of transgender and gender diverse adolescents, with the goal of informing efforts to eliminate disparities in depression, suicidality, and substance use in this population. METHODS:Secondary data analysis of the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey examined associations between eight protective factors (connectedness to parents, adult relatives, friends, adults in the community, and teachers; youth development opportunities; and feeling safe in the community and at school) and depression, suicidality, and substance use (alcohol, binge drinking, marijuana, nicotine) among 2,168 adolescents who identified as transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or questioning their gender. Logistic regressions assessed the role of each protective factor separately and simultaneously. RESULTS:Each protective factor was associated with lower odds of emotional distress and substance use. When protective factors were examined simultaneously, parent connectedness was protective for all measures. Feeling safe at school and connected to adults in one's community protected against depression and suicidality; teacher connectedness buffered risk of substance use. CONCLUSIONS:Given that transgender and gender diverse youth report lower levels of connectedness and safety, bolstering an explicitly transgender and gender diverse-friendly network of caring parents, safe and supportive schools, and connections to adults in the community may support efforts to eliminate disparities in depression, suicidality, and substance use.
Project description:Stigma and discrimination toward individuals experiencing homelessness and mental disorders remain pervasive across societies. However, there are few longitudinal studies of stigma and discrimination among homeless adults with mental illness. This study aimed to identify the two-year group trajectories of stigma and discrimination and examine the predictive role of mental health characteristics among 414 homeless adults with mental illness participating in the extended follow-up phase of the Toronto At Home/Chez Soi (AH/CS) randomized trial site. Mental health-related perceived stigma and discrimination were measured at baseline, one, and two years using validated scales. Group-based-trajectory modelling was used to identify stigma and discrimination group trajectory memberships and the effect of the Housing First treatment (rent supplements and mental health support services) vs treatment as usual on these trajectories. The associations between mental health-related characteristics and trajectory group memberships were also assessed using multinomial logistic regression. Over two-years, three group trajectories of stigma and discrimination were identified. For discrimination, participants followed a low, moderate, or increasingly high discrimination group trajectory, while for stigma, participants followed a low, moderate or high stigma group trajectory. The Housing First treatment had no significant effect on discrimination or stigma trajectories groups. For the discrimination trajectories, major depressive episode, mood disorder with psychotic features, alcohol abuse, suicidality, severity of mental health symptoms, and substance use severity in the previous year were predictors of moderate and increasingly high discrimination trajectories. History of discrimination within healthcare setting was also positively associated with following a moderate or high discrimination trajectory. For the stigma trajectories, substance dependence, high mental health symptoms severity, substance use severity, and discrimination experiences within healthcare settings were the main predictors for the moderate trajectory group; while substance dependence, suicidality, mental health symptom severity, substance use severity and discrimination experiences within health care setting were also positive predictors for the high stigma trajectory group. Ethno-racial status modified the association between having a major depression episode, alcohol dependence, and the likelihood of being a member of the high stigma trajectory group. This study showed that adults experiencing mental illness and homelessness followed distinct stigma and discrimination group trajectories based on their mental health-problems. There is an urgent need to increase focus on strategies and policies to reduce stigma and discrimination in this population.
Project description:Abstract Background: While there is growing awareness of the need to support the physical and mental wellbeing of transgender people, some may be reluctant to seek help from healthcare professionals. Little is understood about the mechanisms that influence help-seeking behavior in this group. Aims: This study aimed to compare transgender and cisgender participants in their likelihood to seek help for both physical and mental health conditions, and to explore whether this help-seeking behavior is predicted by a range of sociodemographic and psychological variables. Methods: 123 participants living in Ireland (cisgender= 67; transgender= 56) completed a questionnaire which included demographic questions, as well as measures of optimism (LOT-R), self-esteem (RSES), psychological distress (GHQ-12), attitudes towards seeking psychological help (ATSPPH-SF), and attitudes towards seeking help for a physical health problem (Attitudes Towards Seeking Medical Help Scale- Action/Intervention subscale). Associations between predictor variables and mental and physical health seeking were explored using correlation analysis and stepwise regressions. Results: Transgender participants were less likely to seek help for a physical health issue than cisgender participants, but did not differ in mental health help-seeking behaviors. Results suggest that this may be due to differences in optimism, self-esteem and psychological distress. Transgender participants had significantly lower optimism and self-esteem, which were two factors linked to poorer physical health seeking behaviors. Optimism also emerged as a significant predictor in mental health seeking behaviors. Discussion: The lack of a significant difference for mental health help-seeking between the transgender and cisgender participants is encouraging, as it suggests that there is less stigma surrounding mental illness than expected, however findings also contradict previous findings suggesting that physical health is less stigmatized. This could be due to stigma relating to gender-specific healthcare and suggests that healthcare professionals should acknowledge the specific healthcare needs and concerns among transgender individuals.
Project description:Importance:Transgender individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and socioeconomic disadvantages, leading to a myriad of poor health outcomes and high rates of disease burden; however, transgender health continues to be an understudied area. Objective:To examine sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, and health service utilization patterns among transgender individuals compared with the general population. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cross-sectional study of 2085 transgender individuals from 3 large cities in Ontario, Canada, compared characteristics and health service use among transgender individuals with the general population in the province. Transgender individuals were identified through data obtained from 4 outpatient community and hospital clinics, which were linked with health administrative data between January 2012 and December 2016. Data were analyzed between October 2018 and May 2020. Individuals were age-matched 1:5 to a random 5% sample of the general Ontario population (10?425 individuals). Main Outcomes and Measures:Sociodemographic variables, health service use, and chronic conditions among transgender individuals and the general population were compared. Results:This study included a sample of 2085 transgender individuals with a mean (SD) age of 30.40 (12.81) years; 771 (37.0%) identified as transgender women. Compared with 10?425 cisgender controls, trangender individuals were more likely to live in lower-income neighborhoods (lowest-income quintile: 625 [30.0%] vs 2197 [21.1%]; P?<?.001) and experience chronic physical and mental health conditions, including higher rates of asthma (489 [23.5%] vs 2034 [19.5%]; P?<?.001), diabetes (115 [5.5%] vs 352 [3.4%]; P?<?.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (51 [2.4%] vs 156 [1.5%]; P?<?.001), and HIV (34 [1.6%] vs 12 [0.1%]; P?<?.001). Comorbid chronic health conditions were higher among the transgender population compared with the cisgender population (702 [33.7%] vs 2941 [28.2%]; P?<?.001). Transgender individuals also had higher health service use compared with the general population, particularly for mental health and self-harm, including mean (SD) number of psychiatrist visits between January 2012 and December 2016 (8.25 [23.13] vs 0.93 [9.57]; standardized difference, 5.84). Conclusions and Relevance:This study found higher rates of mental and physical comorbidities and higher health service use among transgender individuals compared with cisgender individuals. Further research should explore reasons for these findings. Clinicians caring for transgender individuals should be aware of the high potential for mental health issues and self-harm.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The transgender population has unique health risks, including increased risk of mental illness, substance abuse, suicide and a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Worldwide studies indicate that this population is marginalised and faces barriers in accessing health care. In South Africa, there is limited information and research on the transgender population's interaction with health services. AIM:The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of the transgender population in accessing health care facilities for sexual and reproductive needs. SETTING:The study took place in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. METHODS:A qualitative study combining phenomenological and critical ethnographic approaches was conducted to explore the experiences of the transgender population in the health care setting. Critical ethnography was chosen because it is an emancipatory method that highlights the plight of disenfranchised groups, and phenomenology was used to illuminate experiences of the transgender population. Purposive snowball sampling was applied to select nine transgender participants who had experiences of contact with a health care setting. Data collection was performed through semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion. RESULTS:Participants provided details about the paucity of facilities, resources and targeted programmes to cater for the transgender populations' sexual and reproductive health needs. The participants engage in high-risk behaviour, comprising unprotected sex and use of cross-gender hormones without medical supervision. Furthermore, the participants reported experiences of hostile and discriminatory behaviour by healthcare workers. CONCLUSION:It emerged that there is a paucity of resources and knowledge to provide appropriate health care services to the transgender population, resulting in adverse experiences. Policies on transgender care and training of health workers will contribute towards improvement of health care access for the transgender population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people are disproportionately affected by HIV and sexually transmitted infections. MSM and transgender people in Nepal experience considerable discrimination and marginalisation, they are subject to abuse from legal authorities and suffer from mental health issues. These social and structural factors can lead to increased sexual risk behaviour, barriers to accessing health care and result in adverse health outcomes. This study aims to assess the prevalence of HIV and syphilis, and how individual and socio-structural factors influence sexual risk behaviour and health care service uptake, among MSM and transgender women in the Terai highway districts of Nepal. METHODS:A cross-sectional survey was conducted in June 2016 in eight Terai highway districts of Nepal, recruiting 340 MSM and transgender women through respondent driven sampling. The primary outcome variables were HIV and syphilis prevalence. The secondary outcome variables were sexual risk behaviour and health care service uptake. Logistic regression models were used to assess the individual and socio-structural determinants of sexual risk behaviour and health care service uptake. RESULTS:The prevalence of HIV among MSM was 5%, whereas it was 13% in transgender women. The prevalence of active syphilis was 4% in MSM and 11% among transgender women. Among transgender women, 76% were involved in sex work, and 51% had experienced discrimination in one or more settings. In multivariable analysis, having visited an outreach centre was positively associated with condom use in the last sexual encounter among both MSM (AOR: 5.37, 95% CI: 2.42-11.94, p <?0.001) and transgender women (AOR: 2.37, 95% CI: 1.12-5.02, p =?0.025). Moreover, transgender women who reported being open towards family about sexual identity/behaviour were 2.4 more likely to have visited an outreach centre (AOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.04-5.57, p =?0.041). CONCLUSIONS:The high prevalence of HIV and syphilis, as well as indicators of marginalisation and discrimination among transgender women, highlights the increased burden transgender women in Nepal are facing and the need for tailored interventions. Moreover, since health care service uptake is an important factor in determining sexual risk behaviour among MSM and transgender women in Nepal, outreach services should be scaled up.
Project description:Abstract Background: The social challenges that non-binary people experience, due in part to social intolerance and the lack of validation of non-binary gender identities, may affect the mental health and quality of life of this population. However, studies that have distinguished between non-binary and binary transgender identities are lacking. Aim: To compare the mental health and quality of life of a community sample of non-binary transgender adults with controls (binary transgender people and cisgender people) matched on sex assigned at birth. Method: A total of 526 participants were included. Ninety-seven were classified as non-binary and were compared with two control groups: 91 people classified as binary and 338 cisgender people. Only transgender people not on gender affirming hormone treatment or who had not undergone gender affirming surgery were included. Participants were invited to complete an online survey that included mental health and quality of life measures. Results: Non-binary people reported significantly better mental health than binary transgender people, but worse than cisgender people. Overall, there were no significant differences in quality of life between non-binary and binary transgender participants assigned male at birth and transgender females, but non-binary assigned males at birth had better scores on the psychological and social domains of quality of life than transgender males. Quality of life was better across all domains in cisgender people than transgender groups. Conclusion: There is an inequality with regard to mental health and quality of life between non-binary (and binary) transgender people and the cisgender population that needs to be addressed. The better mental health scores in non-binary people may reflect lower levels of body dissatisfaction among the non-binary population. Mental health problems and poor quality of life are likely to have social causes and hence legislative measures and broader government-led inclusive directives should be put in place to recognize and to validate non-binary identifying people.