Study shows mental health disparities among trans, non-binary communities

Study shows mental health disparities among trans, non-binary communities

A recent nationally representative analysis showed that trans people in England are around one in six men (16.4%) and women (15.9%) likely to experience a long-term mental health condition. By comparison, the risk for cisgender men and women is one in ten, 8.8% and 12.0% respectively.

The study was published in Lancet Public Health The magazine further revealed significantly elevated risks for certain gender minority groups, particularly non-binary trans people, with nearly one in two (47.2%) reporting a mental health condition.

Study shows mental health disparities among trans, non-binary communities

Research shows that transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people continue to face widespread discrimination and barriers when accessing health care, leading to higher rates of mental health issues compared to cisgender people. Despite available evidence, recording of gender in health records and surveys remains limited, hampering a comprehensive understanding of mental health conditions. Researchers aimed to bridge this gap by providing the first estimates of gender-related inequalities in self-reported mental health status and mental health support for 15 gender groups in England.

The study exploited changes in the nationally representative cross-sectional UK General Practitioner (GP) patient survey in 2021 and 2022. Age-adjusted logistic regression was used to predict the probabilities of two outcomes: self-reported mental health status and self-reported unmet mental health needs. The 15 exposure groups included 5 gender groups (female, male, non-binary, prefer to self-describe, prefer not to say) within 3 cisgender or transgender identity groups (cisgender, trans, or don’t want to say). Potential mediating effects were explored by including covariates.

The estimated sample includes 1,520,457 respondents, of which 51.4% are women (n = 861,017), 47.4% are men (n = 645,300), 0.3% are non-binary individuals (n = 2600), and self-described gender (n = 2277 )) accounted for 0.2%, and those who did not want to disclose their gender (n = 9263) accounted for 0.7%. Regarding cisgender or transgender status, 98.3% (n = 1,499,852) identified as cisgender, 0.7% (n = 7,994) identified as transgender, and 1.0% (n = 12,611) preferred not to disclose their cisgender or transgender identity. gender identity.

Findings indicate broad gender differences in the likelihood of self-reporting mental health conditions. Transgender non-binary patients have the highest probability, at 47.21%. This was followed by transgender patients who self-described their gender (35.03%) and patients who did not want to reveal their cisgender or transgender identity (32.90%). Conversely, the cisgender patient group had the lowest rates, ranging from 8.80% (men) to 11.97% (women).

Cisgender men (15.55%) and women (15.93%) had the lowest rates of self-reported unmet mental health needs. Increases in the likelihood were observed among other groups, ranging from 19.95% among transgender men to 28.64% among individuals who preferred not to reveal their gender or cisgender/transgender identity.

The findings highlight significant gender-related inequalities in self-reported mental health outcomes in England. The study noted that the existence of self-reported unmet mental health needs points to an urgent need to make the health care system more inclusive and increase training for health care professionals. Researchers advocate for wider improvements to the social and legal environment to support trans, non-binary and gender diverse individuals.

“There is also an emerging literature that explores the power of gender euphoria, gender affirmation, resistance, and community building as protective factors for mental health in transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse populations,” the researchers wrote. “Further research could provide insights into Strategies to promote well-being provide valuable insights.”

refer to

Watkinson RE, Linfield A, Tielemans J, et al. Gender-related self-reported mental health inequalities in UK primary care: a cross-sectional analysis using a GP patient survey. Lancet Public Health. Published online January 31, 2024.

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