Results of Transcare Online Survey on Behavior and Perceptions Of Healthcare Staff and Health Sciences Students regarding Gender Identity and Expression
In the framework of the Transcare project “Improving access to healthcare for transgender individuals”
the first online nationwide survey took place in May – June 2021 aiming to collect data as to how familiar are medical staff and health sciences students with the diversity of gender identity and expression. Indicative topics examined during research was: Rights, prejudices and discrimination against trans people, attitude of health personnel and incidents of violence, level of knowledge and experience of the staff health issues related to gender identity and sexuality. A total of 731 healthcare professionals participated and 259 health sciences students. At the same time, focus groups were conducted with 13 trans people and 7 health professionals, to discuss about their experience around these topics.
Representative results of the research are listed below:
- One in seven people (15%) among professionals agree or strongly agree that trans identities are a mental disorder.
- 23% of professionals believe that trans identities are identified with romantic / sexual attraction and 24% that gender identity is defined by biological characteristics.
- One in four people (25%) among students agree or strongly agree that trans identity is an option.
- 77% of professionals and 86% of students agree or strongly agree that service personnel are not properly trained to provide services in trans people.
- 17% of professionals report feeling somewhat embarrassed while examining a trans person.
- 58% of health professionals does not know if surgery is necessary to update trans people’s documents.
- 89% of health professionals answered that they have not received any training regarding gender identity topics.
- Clear references to trans issues do not exist at all (48%) or are rare (30%) in curricula of their faculties.
- References to gender identity issues in educational manuals do not exist (43%) or are rare (27%), while in some cases they are presented as pathological, as stated by a 25%.
- The majority of healthcare professionals do not know at all the procedure needed to be followed when a person wants to start hormone therapy (66%) or to proceed to some kind of surgery (65%).
- Students know little (38%) or not at all (44%) about the procedure needed to be followed when a person wants to start hormone therapy and, respectively, little (33%) or not at all (48%) about the procedure required for gender reassignment surgery.
The results of the survey highlight the significant barriers that trans people face in order to access healthcare services, the shortcomings and gaps of the healthcare system, as well as the inadequate training of (future) health professionals on gender identity issues and the provision of inclusive services.
This data will be used to create training material, targeted to healthcare professionals, which will cover issues related to gender identity and inclusive healthcare services for trans people, as well as for other future project activities.