Two new studies highlighted the importance of better understanding the health care utilization of transgender children and adolescents and the need to train pediatricians to care for this population's unique needs.
Nadia Dowshen, MD, MSHP, and Siobhan Gruschow, MPH, MEd, researchers at PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will present their findings on trends in transgender youth's health care utilization and primary care providers' knowledge, comfort and experience caring for transgender youth during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2018 Meeting in Toronto. The first study focused on measuring the knowledge, attitudes and skills of primary care providers in treating transgender children and adolescents. Researchers designed a cross-sectional survey aimed to learn more about the readiness of pediatricians to care for transgender or gender non-conforming youth.
"Pediatricians may be the first or only contact for many transgender youth in the health care system, and therefore it is essential that pediatric providers be knowledgable and comfortable in caring for this population of youth with unique health care needs," said Ms. Gruschow, lead author of the study. "The results of our research show that we critically need educational interventions to prepare pediatricians in supporting transgender youth's health, well-being and early development." The research team recruited survey participants either via email or in-person based on where their health care practice was located. Participating primary care pediatricians responded to 18 questions related to their knowledge, experience and comfort in providing care for transgender youth.
"Our study revealed significant increases in the prevalence of insurance claims among children and adolescents related to GD across the U.S.," said Dr. Nadia Dowshen, lead author of the study. "More studies like ours are needed to describe health care utilization by transgender youth and to inform the development of policies to ensure that providers are adequately trained and equipped with the resources they need to meet these youth's physical and mental health needs."