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First Australian National Trans-Mental Health Study: Mental Health Problems and Associated Factors

First Australian National Trans-Mental Health Study: Mental Health Problems and Associated Factors

This presentation will give an overview of mental health problems and associated factors reported by participants in the First Australian National Trans Mental Health Study. Trans people are an underresearched population which experiences significant health disparity. We aimed to determine the prevalence of mental health problems in trans people living in Australia, and the factors associated with their poor mental health.

The study was a mixed-methods, cross-sectional survey of 946 self-identified trans people aged ≥18 years living in Australia. Data collection was conducted between August-December 2013 (inclusive). A range of non-probability sampling techniques was used to recruit participants because random sampling methods are impractical with this population. Data were collected with an anonymous internet-based questionnaire hosted by Survey Monkey. It included validated screening instruments, demographic items and items assessing whether mental health problems had been previously diagnosed and treated. A number of qualitative questions were also included. The questionnaire took approximately 40 minutes to complete.

The study found that trans people experienced very high levels of mental health problems (particularly depression and anxiety syndromes) compared with the population norms. At the time they completed the questionnaire, 43.7% of the sample were currently experiencing clinically relevant depressive symptoms; 28.8% met the criteria for a current major depressive syndrome; 5.4% for another depressive syndrome; 18.3% for a panic syndrome; and 16.9% for another anxiety syndrome. These data, along with other characteristics of the sample will be presented to expand the knowledge base of this population in Australia.

These results reflect an urgent need to address the health disparity in this population. Priorities for action include improving access to health care, reforming legislation and procedures to change legal sex, and anti-discrimination measures.

Conference: WAS Singapore 2015
Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2015

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