Majority of transgender patients report negative experiences in emergency departments

March 12, 2014

A new study out of Western University (London, Canada) has found the majority of transgender patients have had a negative experience when it comes to receiving emergency department (ED) care. The findings, by first author Greta Bauer, PhD, is in press at the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the official publication of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and is now posted online.

The study used respondent-driven sampling, a methodology developed to specifically address the challenge of studying hard-to-reach populations. It relies on a snowball sampling, using current study subjects to recruit future subjects. In total, 408 transgender people in Ontario, Canada were included in the analysis; 214 female-to-male, and 195 male-to-female. Findings include:

  • 21 per cent of transgender people report having avoided the ED in a potential medical emergency because of fear of .
  • Among those who did attend the ED, 52 per cent had experienced at least one of the trans-specific negative experiences asked about in the survey (e.g. having a doctor refuse care, or refuse to examine parts of your body) while presenting in their felt/core gender.
  • 32 per cent experienced hurtful or insulting language
  • 31 per cent were told the healthcare provider didn't know enough to provide care

"As far as we're aware, this paper represents the first published paper to examine the experiences of transgender patients in settings, and is based on data from our longstanding project, Trans PULSE," says Bauer, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Interest in this issue has been high. The journal will be publishing an accompanying editorial that makes strong arguments for changes to ED practices. It calls for better training of medical students and residents, the provision of safe environments within the ED (for example: gender-neutral washrooms) and monitoring of the provision of care. ACEP Now, the news publication of the American College of Emergency Physicians will also be including a feature article on issues raised in this paper in its March issue.

Explore further: All hospital emergency rooms should be prepared for children

Related Stories

Transgender patients have special needs in the ER

November 5, 2013

While approximately one-third of transgender (trans) patients needed emergency care in the previous year, only 71 percent of those with self-reported need indicated they were able to obtain care, which researchers theorize ...

Transgender medical research and provider education lacking

December 11, 2013

As a result of the limited transgender medical training offered at medical schools, very few physicians possess the knowledge needed to treat transgendered patients. This circumstance is the topic of a paper in this month's ...

The case for tele-emergency services

February 4, 2014

New research from the University of Iowa supports the claim that tele-emergency services can successfully extend emergency care in rural hospitals. A summary of the research was published in the new February edition of Health ...

Recommended for you

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.