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Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences

Transgender Patient Perceptions of Stigma in Health Care Contexts

By Kami Kosenko, Lance Rintamaki, Stephanie Raney, and Kathleen Maness, 2013

Objectives: Transgender individuals, or those who cross or tran- scend sex categories, commonly experience stigma and discrim- ination. Anecdotal evidence indicates that this transphobia manifests in health care settings, but few studies address the forms of mistreatment experienced in this context. This study was de- signed to explore transgender patients’ experiences with health care. This brief report focuses on their negative experiences. Methods: A total of 152 transgender adults were recruited to complete an online questionnaire about their health care. Partici- pants were asked if and how they had been mistreated, and re- sponses were analyzed by qualitative content analysis. Results: Participants’ descriptions of mistreatment coalesced around 6 themes: gender insensitivity, displays of discomfort, de- nied services, substandard care, verbal abuse, and forced care. Conclusions: These findings provide insight into transgender patients’ perceptions of and sensitivity to mistreatment in health care contexts. This information might be used to increase providers’ cultural com- petency and inform their interactions with transgender patients.

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