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Transgend Health. 2019 Feb 4;4(1):24-34. doi: 10.1089/trgh.2018.0050. eCollection 2019.

Knowledge and Attitudes of Health Care Providers Toward Transgender Patients Within a Rural Tertiary Care Center.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
2
Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
3
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
4
Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
5
Department of Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
6
Department of Medical Education, Anesthesiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Abstract

Purpose: Members of the transgender community face significant health disparities within our society, especially within the state of West Virginia, which is primarily rural. We sought to examine and compare existing attitudes and knowledge of resident and faculty physician medical professionals at our institution about treating transgender individuals within a rural tertiary care center. Methods: The Medical Practitioner Attitudes Towards Transgender Patients (MP-ATTS) survey and the Medical Practitioner Beliefs and Knowledge about Treating Transgender Patients (MP-BKTTP) survey were sent to all faculty and resident physicians at West Virginia University Hospitals. Demographics included information about gender, rurality of hometown, race, and description of medical practitioner status (i.e., years out of residency, residency status). Findings: In general, there were positive attitudes and reception of the survey among residents and faculty physicians. 76.45% of providers assumed that their patients were not transgender. More than 40% of respondents believed that they would need further education about transgender patients to provide appropriate health care. Male health care providers had significantly higher negative perceptions of the transgender community (N=85, M=4.46, standard deviation [SD]=0.55, p<0.0001) and perceived fewer barriers due to personnel (N=80, M=3.24, SD=0.96, p<0.0001). Conclusion: A clear need exists for increased training in transgender health care among physicians taking care of this patient population. A gender divide exists among health care providers within West Virginia over attitudes regarding the transgender community. Further studies are needed to fully understand the health care needs and barriers of the transgender population.

KEYWORDS:

LGTB; attitudes; health providers; survey; transgender

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