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Safe access to healthcare has been a safety oasis to many transgender and gender-diverse (TDG) people seeking gender-affirming care during the COVID pandemic. Authors of a recent study published in Telemedicine and e-Health evaluated telehealth services supported healthcare access for transgender and gender-diverse (TDG) youth within Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic (SCGC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lead researcher Ruby Lucas and colleagues sought to explore the differences in demographic characteristics and completion rates for scheduled visits among transgender telemedicine users and nonusers. The setting was a multidisciplinary gender clinic before and after telemedicine implementation in March 2020.

Transgender Telehealth Study

The electronic health records of Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic (SCGC) patients were reviewed for differences in demographics and type of care utilized by TDG youth. Dates of services received ranged from April 2019 and February 2020 (pre-telemedicine) and April 2020 and February 2021 (post-telemedicine).

Researchers found that 1,051 TGD individuals were seen at SCGC at the stated periods. In the pre-telehealth group, the most frequently reported age for patients was 16 to 17, with 322 of 709 patients in this group. Responses for the post-telehealth group were similar, with 380 of 788 patients reporting age 16 to 17 years.

Other demographic information of note is as follows: 

  • 62% identified as transmasculine/male
  • 68% were non-Hispanic White
  • 76% resided within 50 miles of the clinic. 

TDG Patient Pronouns & Insurance

Researchers found significant differences between the pre-COVID and post-telemedicine groups concerning pronouns and insurance. More patients in the post-telehealth period used “they” pronouns. Using the singular “they,” along with inflected or derivative forms, including their, theirs, and themselves, is a gender-neutral third-person pronoun that is widely accepted for making language more inclusive. It also…

From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More

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