A Review of the Content and Format of Transgender-Related Webpages

Keith J. Horvath, Alex Iantaffi, Jeremy A. Grey, Walter Bockting

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Transgender persons represent a highly diverse group of individuals who have been historically underserved, despite being disproportionately at risk for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and other health conditions. Despite the need for more research on transgender health issues, no review of online transgender-related resources has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to broadly characterize (1) the types of transgender-related webpages that appear as a result of keyword searches, and (2) the extent to which webpages differ in content and format depending on whether the intended audience for the webpage was transgender individuals, health professionals, or the general population. An online search using 28 keywords yielded 204 eligible webpages, of which 58% targeted transgendered individuals, 23% targeted health professionals, and 39% targeted the general public. The highest percentage of webpages appeared to be operated and/or created by transgender individuals or groups (46%), followed by for-profit businesses (17%). The majority of mental health (80%), HIV-related (89%), and primary care (100%) webpages targeted health professionals. Although various features are available that may increase user interest in and perceived credibility of a webpage, the results show that many of these features were underutilized. There appears to be significant opportunity to develop web resources that directly target unique subgroups within the transgender community to improve their health outcomes, increase the visibility of features that increase user interest and perceived credibility of webpages, and possibly train transgender individuals to seek relevant online information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-466
Number of pages10
JournalHealth communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012


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