Advancing methods for US transgender health research

Sari L. Reisner, Madeline B. Deutsch, Shalender Bhasin, Walter Bockting, George R. Brown, Jamie Feldman, Rob Garofalo, Baudewijntje Kreukels, Asa Radix, Joshua D. Safer, Vin Tangpricha, Guy T'Sjoen, Michael Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of review This article describes methodological challenges, gaps, and opportunities in US transgender health research. Recent findings Lack of large prospective observational studies and intervention trials, limited data on risks and benefits of sex affirmation (e.g., hormones and surgical interventions), and inconsistent use of definitions across studies hinder evidence-based care for transgender people. Systematic high-quality observational and interventiontesting studies may be carried out using several approaches, including general population-based, health systems-based, clinic-based, venue-based, and hybrid designs. Each of these approaches has its strength and limitations; however, harmonization of research efforts is needed. Ongoing development of evidencebased clinical recommendations will benefit from a series of observational and intervention studies aimed at identification, recruitment, and follow-up of transgender people of different ages, from different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and with diverse gender identities. Summary Transgender health research faces challenges that include standardization of lexicon, agreed upon population definitions, study design, sampling, measurement, outcome ascertainment, and sample size. Application of existing and new methods is needed to fill existing gaps, increase the scientific rigor and reach of transgender health research, and inform evidence-based prevention and care for this underserved population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (R13HD084267), the Endocrine Society, the Tawani Foundation, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the Endocrine Society, WPATH, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr Reisner was partially supported through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award (CER-1403-12625). Dr Goodman was partially supported through a PCORI Award (AD-12-11-4532) and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under award number R21HD076387. All statements in this report, including its findings and conclusions, are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of PCORI, its Board of Governors, or Methodology Committee. Likewise, the content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Keywords

  • Health Disparity
  • Research Methods
  • Transgender

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