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Horm Res Paediatr. 2012;78(1):40-6. doi: 10.1159/000339863. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Challenges of disorders of sex development: diverse perceptions across stakeholders.

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  • 1Urological Institute of Northeastern New York and the Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA. bkogan@communitycare.com



Disorders of sex development (DSD) are congenital conditions in which chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomic sex development is atypical. Optimal management is patient- and family-centered and delivered by interdisciplinary teams. The present pilot study elicits concerns held by important stakeholders on issues affecting young patients with DSD and their families.


Content from focus groups with expert clinicians (pediatric urologists (n = 7), pediatric endocrinologists (n = 10), mental health professionals (n = 4), DSD patient advocates (n = 4), and interviews with parents of DSD-affected children (newborn to 6 years; n = 11) was coded and content-analyzed to identify health-related quality of life issues.


Key stressors varied across stakeholder groups. In general, family-centered issues were noted more than child-centered. In the child-centered domain, providers worried more about physical functioning; family and advocates emphasized gender concerns and body image. In the family-centered domain, parental concerns about medication management outweighed those of providers. Advocates reported more stressors regarding communication/information than other stakeholders.


Variability exists across stakeholder groups in the key concerns affecting young children/families with DSD. Interdisciplinary DSD healthcare team development should account for varying perspectives when counseling families and planning treatment.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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