Project Title

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of East Tennessee Medical Providers towards Transgender Patients

Authors' Affiliations

Abby Schultz- ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN Morgan Buda- ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN Anahita Rahimi-Saber- ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN Rebecca Lee- ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN Dr. Abbey Mann- Department of Family Medicine, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City TN Dr. Leigh Johnson- Department of Family Medicine, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN Dr. Ivy Click- Department of Family Medicine, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN

Location

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Start Date

4-4-2018 10:40 AM

End Date

4-4-2018 10:55 AM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ivy Click

Faculty Sponsor's Department

ETSU, Department of Family Medicine

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Medical Student

Project's Category

Biomedical and Health Sciences

Abstract Text

Introduction: Transgender is an identity term used to describe people with diverse gender identities and expressions that differ from their sex assigned at birth. People who identify as transgender have worse health outcomes than the cisgender or non-transgender populations. Limited healthcare access and chronic stress from discrimination all contribute to worsening health outcomes for this population. However, research regarding this population is limited, particularly in the rural southern United States. The purpose of this study was to assess physicians’, nurse practitioners’, and physician assistants’ experience with, attitude towards, and knowledge of transgender healthcare in the Northeast Tennessee region.

Methods: Medical providers, including NPs, PAs, DOs and MDs from Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology in both academic and community settings were surveyed regarding their attitudes toward, knowledge of, and experiences with gender, sexual orientation, and sexuality as they relate to healthcare. All potential participants were informed that participation was voluntary. Limited demographics were gathered and surveys were collected in a confidential manner. Data were analyzed for statistical significance.

Results: Initial analyses showed the majority of providers had not received training in transgender healthcare and perceived they had few to no trans-identified patients. Over half of all respondents felt competent in providing healthcare to trans people and the majority felt comfortable treating this population. Providers indicated it is important to know their patients’ sexual practices, gender identity and sexual orientation; however, the majority of providers do not ask patients their gender identity, sexuality, or desired pronouns. Respondents were unsure whether gender confirmation surgery is covered by insurance and widely accessible. In assessing clinical knowledge of providers, there were a wide variety of responses suggesting varying level of competence amongst providers. Responses were split regarding whether access to healthcare is the same for the transgender population as it is for the general population. Pediatric providers were asked about comfort in prescribing hormones, knowledge of mental health support in the area, referrals and discussing gender identity with patients. These responses fell along a normal distribution, indicating a variety of training, experiences, and opinion regarding trans healthcare for the adolescent population.

Conclusions: Overall results from the preliminary data demonstrate a contradiction between ideology and practice. With most participants responding they felt comfortable and competent providing care to the transgender population, yet their responses indicated a lack of training and absence of inclusivity in their health care practices. This suggests that education is needed within the healthcare community on transgender healthcare.

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Apr 4th, 10:40 AM Apr 4th, 10:55 AM

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of East Tennessee Medical Providers towards Transgender Patients

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Introduction: Transgender is an identity term used to describe people with diverse gender identities and expressions that differ from their sex assigned at birth. People who identify as transgender have worse health outcomes than the cisgender or non-transgender populations. Limited healthcare access and chronic stress from discrimination all contribute to worsening health outcomes for this population. However, research regarding this population is limited, particularly in the rural southern United States. The purpose of this study was to assess physicians’, nurse practitioners’, and physician assistants’ experience with, attitude towards, and knowledge of transgender healthcare in the Northeast Tennessee region.

Methods: Medical providers, including NPs, PAs, DOs and MDs from Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology in both academic and community settings were surveyed regarding their attitudes toward, knowledge of, and experiences with gender, sexual orientation, and sexuality as they relate to healthcare. All potential participants were informed that participation was voluntary. Limited demographics were gathered and surveys were collected in a confidential manner. Data were analyzed for statistical significance.

Results: Initial analyses showed the majority of providers had not received training in transgender healthcare and perceived they had few to no trans-identified patients. Over half of all respondents felt competent in providing healthcare to trans people and the majority felt comfortable treating this population. Providers indicated it is important to know their patients’ sexual practices, gender identity and sexual orientation; however, the majority of providers do not ask patients their gender identity, sexuality, or desired pronouns. Respondents were unsure whether gender confirmation surgery is covered by insurance and widely accessible. In assessing clinical knowledge of providers, there were a wide variety of responses suggesting varying level of competence amongst providers. Responses were split regarding whether access to healthcare is the same for the transgender population as it is for the general population. Pediatric providers were asked about comfort in prescribing hormones, knowledge of mental health support in the area, referrals and discussing gender identity with patients. These responses fell along a normal distribution, indicating a variety of training, experiences, and opinion regarding trans healthcare for the adolescent population.

Conclusions: Overall results from the preliminary data demonstrate a contradiction between ideology and practice. With most participants responding they felt comfortable and competent providing care to the transgender population, yet their responses indicated a lack of training and absence of inclusivity in their health care practices. This suggests that education is needed within the healthcare community on transgender healthcare.