Concerns still exist among lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, transgendered-, and queer-identified individuals (LGBTQ individuals) about their reception and treatment by psychiatric service providers. The Psychiatric Service at the University of Toronto and the Office of LGBTQ Resources and Programs convened a committee to address expanding the capacities of the Service related to the needs of LGBTQ and questioning students. In this paper, we describe the committee's role, initiatives, and successes and discuss challenges encountered in the process. The model of community development drawn from in this work can be adapted for use in other community health settings.
Incidence and prevalence of applications in Sweden for legal and surgical sex reassignment were examined over a 50-year period (1960-2010), including the legal and surgical reversal applications. A total of 767 people (289 natal females and 478 natal males) applied for legal and surgical sex reassignment. Out of these, 89% (252 female-to-males [FM] and 429 male-to-females [MF]) received a new legal gender and underwent sex reassignment surgery (SRS). A total of 25 individuals (7 natal females and 18 natal males), equaling 3.3%, were denied a new legal gender and SRS. The remaining withdrew their application, were on a waiting list for surgery, or were granted partial treatment. The incidence of applications was calculated and stratified over four periods between 1972 and 2010. The incidence increased significantly from 0.16 to 0.42/100,000/year (FM) and from 0.23 to 0.73/100,000/year (MF). The most pronounced increase occurred after 2000. The proportion of FM individuals 30 years or older at the time of application remained stable around 30%. In contrast, the proportion of MF individuals 30 years or older increased from 37% in the first decade to 60% in the latter three decades. The point prevalence at December 2010 for individuals who applied for a new legal gender was for FM 1:13,120 and for MF 1:7,750. The FM:MF sex ratio fluctuated but was 1:1.66 for the whole study period. There were 15 (5 MF and 10 MF) regret applications corresponding to a 2.2% regret rate for both sexes. There was a significant decline of regrets over the time period.
A general inventory of the views on sex reassignment and attitudes toward transsexuals in Sweden was attempted. Whether the view on these matters differ between people embracing biological theories in explanation of transsexualism and those embracing psychological theories was tested. Third, whether men and the older age groups hold a different view on transsexualism than women and younger age groups was investigated. For these purposes, in October-December 1998, a questionnaire was mailed to a randomly selected national sample of 992 Swedish residents; 668 persons returned the questionnaire, giving a 67% response rate. Results showed that a majority supports the possibility for transsexuals to undergo sex reassignment; however, 63% thought that the individual should bear the expenses for it. In addition, a majority supported transsexuals' right to get married in their new sex and their right to work with children. Transsexuals' right to adopt and raise children was supported by 43%, whereas 41% were opposed. Results indicated that those who believed that transsexualism is caused by biological factors had a less restrictive view on transsexualism than people who held a psychological view. Men and the older age group were found to hold a more restrictive view on these issues than women and the younger age group. Future studies should address these questions to elucidate differences between cultures and the process of change in attitudes over time.
The purpose of this study is to characterize the relationship between identity and health care experiences (including antiretroviral therapy utilization) among HIV-positive sexual minority males. This qualitative study used grounded theory with data collection occurring through focus groups and interviews. A questionnaire was used to complete a demographic profile. The study included 47 HIV positive participants from three minorities: gay men, bisexual men and transgendered persons, gender identifying as female and or living as women. Sessions elicited information on: (1) general experiences with health care, (2) experiences with HIV antiretroviral therapies and issues surrounding access, and (3) adherence to these therapies and identity in relation to health care. These textual data revealed three themes: (1) the importance of sexual identity and its social and cultural context, (2) the differences in the health concerns between the sexual minorities and (3) a wide spectrum of experiences with the health care system that provide information surrounding the access to and adequacy of health care. Successful health care providers are aware of different issues that may play a role in the provision of health care to these sexual minorities. Providers awareness of sexual and social identity and the related different cultural values, beliefs and custom enhance care seeking and therapeutic adherence. For sexual minorities, primary care remains the most important entry point into the health care system. Cultural competence of care providers can foster patient's care seeking and adherence to treatment.
A 22 year old female-to-male half-Aboriginal transsexual had been exposed to gross neglect and violence, separation and inconsistent cultural supports during childhood. Her mother had also been convicted of homicide in a context of alcohol and violence. Transsexual identification, antisocial behaviours, self mutilation, substance abuse and unmet dependency needs were evident from childhood or early adolescence. The killing was a confrontational peer group stabbing in a brawl under influence of alcohol--the male mode of homicide. This is the first known case in world literature of a female-to-male transsexual guilty of homicide.
The objective of this study was to compare the features of female-to-male transsexuals (F-M) with those of male-to-female transsexuals (M-F) in the cohort of all applicants for sex reassignment over a 20-year period. In an observational, cross-sectional design the cohort was retrospectively identified, consisting of all 233 subjects who applied for sex reassignment in Sweden during the period 1972-1992. The cohort was subdivided into the groups M-F (n=134) and F-M (n=99), and the two groups were compared. M-F were older when applying for sex reassignment surgery than F-M, and more often had a history of marriage and children than their F-M counterparts. M-F also had more heterosexual experience. F-M, on the other hand, more frequently exhibited cross-gender behaviour in childhood than did M-F transsexuals. The present and previous studies strongly support the view that transsexualism manifests itself differently in males and females. Various models for understanding these differences are discussed.
To describe patient characteristics at presentation, treatment, and response to treatment in youth with gender dysphoria.
A retrospective chart review of 84 youth with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria seen at BC Children's Hospital from 1998-2011.
Of the 84 patients, 45 (54%) identified as female-to-male (FtM), 37 (44%) as male-to-female (MtF), and 2 (2%) as natal males who were undecided. Median age of presentation was 16.9 years (range 11.4-19.8 years) and 16.6 years (range 12.3-22.5 years) for FtM and MtF youth, respectively. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog treatment was prescribed in 27 (32%) patients. One FtM patient developed sterile abscesses with leuprolide acetate; he was switched to triptorelin and tolerated this well. Cross-sex hormones were prescribed in 63 of 84 patients (39 FtM vs 24 MtF, P
Members of the transgender community have identified healthcare access barriers, yet a corresponding inquiry into healthcare provider perspectives has lagged. Our aim was to examine physician perceptions of barriers to healthcare provision for transgender patients.
This was a qualitative study with physician participants from Ontario, Canada. Semi-structured interviews were used to capture a progression of ideas related to barriers faced by physicians when caring for trans patients. Qualitative data were then transcribed verbatim and analysed with an emergent grounded theory approach.
A total of thirteen (13) physician participants were interviewed. Analysis revealed healthcare barriers that grouped into five themes: Accessing resources, medical knowledge deficits, ethics of transition-related medical care, diagnosing vs. pathologising trans patients, and health system determinants. A centralising theme of "not knowing where to go or who to talk to" was also identified.
The findings of this study show that physicians perceive barriers to the care of trans patients, and that these barriers are multifactorial. Access barriers impede physicians when referring patients to specialists or searching for reliable treatment information. Clinical management of trans patients is complicated by a lack of knowledge, and by ethical considerations regarding treatments--which can be unfamiliar or challenging to physicians. The disciplinary division of responsibilities within medicine further complicates care; few practitioners identify trans healthcare as an interest area, and there is a tendency to overemphasise trans status in mental health evaluations. Failure to recognise and accommodate trans patients within sex-segregated healthcare systems leads to deficient health policy. The findings of this study suggest potential solutions to trans healthcare barriers at the informational level--with increased awareness of clinical guidelines and by including trans health issues in medical education-and at the institutional level, with support for both trans-focused and trans-friendly primary care models.
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This article provides a summary of the therapeutic model and approach used in the Gender Identity Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The authors describe their assessment protocol, describe their current multifactorial case formulation model, including a strong emphasis on developmental factors, and provide clinical examples of how the model is used in the treatment.