Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Transgender people-Medical care-Evaluation, Health services accessibility, Transgender, Primary healthcare, Health care access


This mixed method study was undertaken to explore and describe the transgender perspective of socially sensitive and medically competent primary healthcare provision. So far the focus of activists and researchers has concerned the barriers to care rather than positive models of the transgender healthcare experience. To gather viewpoints nationally from people of various transgender identities, an internet survey was conducted yielding responses from 116 participants from ages 18 to 72. Quantitative data was gathered on demographic, gender identities and present healthcare access and quality. Qualitative questions were asked about positive models for accessible healthcare in four areas: office structure, staff behavior, primary healthcare providers' clinical relationship practices, and knowledge of transgender healthcare. Key findings include importance of all healthcare providers and support staff addressing transgender people respectfully and sensitively by using their preferred pronouns and names; respectful and sensitive treatment is supported healthcare providers and support staff having or acquiring basic awareness and knowledge of transgender identities. Effective quality clinical relationships are built via healthcare providers' willingness to cultivate open and non-judgmental communication and by listening and learning from their transgender patients' specific individual health needs . Additional findings showed that while respondents valued their primary care providers having prior knowledge of transgender specific healthcare, they found their willingness to learn more about transgender identity and the negative impacts of social and institutional stigma even more important.




iv, 74 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 61-63)