May 2023

Reports of negative interactions with health care providers among transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive people assigned female at birth in the United States: Results from an online, cross-sectional survey

Inman EM, Obedin-Maliver J, Ragosta S, Hastings J, Berry J, Lunn MR, Flentje A, Capriotti MR, Lubensky ME, Stoeffler A, Dastur Z, Moseson H. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. May 2023. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20116007

Over one million people in the United States are transgender, nonbinary, or gender expansive (TGE). TGE individuals, particularly those who have pursued gender-affirming care, often need to disclose their identities in the process of seeking health care. Unfortunately, TGE individuals often report negative experiences with health care providers (HCPs). We conducted a cross-sectional online survey of 1,684 TGE people assigned female or intersex at birth in the United States to evaluate the quality of their health care experiences. Most respondents (70.1%, n = 1180) reported at least one negative interaction with an HCP in the past year, ranging from an unsolicited harmful opinion about gender identity to physical attacks and abuse. In an adjusted logistic regression model, those who had pursued gender-affirming medical care (51.9% of the sample, n = 874) had 8.1 times the odds (95% CI: 4.1–17.1) of reporting any negative interaction with an HCP in the past year, compared to those who had not pursued gender-affirming care, and tended to report a higher number of such negative interactions. These findings suggest that HCPs are failing to create safe, high-quality care interactions for TGE populations. Improving care quality and reducing bias is crucial for improving the health and well-being of TGE people.