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Exploring the Needs, Expectations, and Realities of Mental Healthcare for Transgender Adults: A Grounded Theory Study on Experiences in Sweden

Beight, Debra LU (2017) MPHN40 20171
Social Medicine and Global Health
Abstract
Transgender persons experience a disproportionate representation in adverse mental health conditions globally. In Sweden there are tangible efforts to improving mental healthcare overall, but as a minority population, transgender persons still struggle with meeting their mental healthcare needs. While social factors such as stigma and discrimination act as catalysts for this burden, there is an absence of understanding the role of mental healthcare for this population and how mental healthcare services are being utilized.
The aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the mental healthcare needs for transgender persons in Sweden, that are both related and unrelated to the transition process. More specifically this study... (More)
Transgender persons experience a disproportionate representation in adverse mental health conditions globally. In Sweden there are tangible efforts to improving mental healthcare overall, but as a minority population, transgender persons still struggle with meeting their mental healthcare needs. While social factors such as stigma and discrimination act as catalysts for this burden, there is an absence of understanding the role of mental healthcare for this population and how mental healthcare services are being utilized.
The aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the mental healthcare needs for transgender persons in Sweden, that are both related and unrelated to the transition process. More specifically this study sought to explore the strategies employed by transgender persons to address their own concerns of mental health issues and mental healthcare. This gives insight into the role of mental healthcare and the ways care was navigated by trans persons.
Nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with persons who identified as transgender or gender non-binary, over the age of 18, at some stage of transition in Sweden. Data was collected, analyzed, and interpreted using constructivist ground theory.
Three categories emerged from the analysis of the data, Objectification vs. Subjectivity, Constructing the Narrative, and Reflections of Care that illustrate the dual tensions at play in transgender visibility, communication with mental healthcare professionals, and expectations of care. Six subcategories further delineate the specific forces at work in tension with one another that construct the mental healthcare experiences for trans persons.
Increased knowledge and visibility of transgender persons is needed to adequately serve the mental healthcare needs for this population. Currently there are barriers that inhibit transgender persons from getting the mental healthcare assistance desired and needed, as they do not view the healthcare system as safe space within which to receive care. As steps are being taken to de-pathologize transgender identities, momentum should be continued to create space for trans persons in society that enables unencumbered mental health assistance. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Globally, transgender persons, persons who feel their gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth, suffer from high rates of mental health issues like depression, anxiety and feeling suicidal. Previous studies on transgender persons and mental healthcare have shown a lack of understanding from the transgender person’s perspective. Knowing how they feel about, and access mental healthcare services that are related to their transition process or unrelated to it is vital in understanding how to best serve the needs of this community.
This study wanted to understand the influences on transgender persons with their mental healthcare in Sweden and the ways in which they navigate their care. This was an attempt to fully... (More)
Globally, transgender persons, persons who feel their gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth, suffer from high rates of mental health issues like depression, anxiety and feeling suicidal. Previous studies on transgender persons and mental healthcare have shown a lack of understanding from the transgender person’s perspective. Knowing how they feel about, and access mental healthcare services that are related to their transition process or unrelated to it is vital in understanding how to best serve the needs of this community.
This study wanted to understand the influences on transgender persons with their mental healthcare in Sweden and the ways in which they navigate their care. This was an attempt to fully understand the role of mental healthcare in the lives of transgender persons and how they receive or don’t receive the care they want and need.
Nine transgender persons from Lund, Malmö, Göteborg, and Stockholm were interviewed. All were over the age of 18 and at different stages of transition from just to beginning the process to full completion. Information from the interviews revealed the ways that transgender persons feel on how they are viewed by society, how this affects their communication with care providers, and what they would like to see different in regards to their mental healthcare options.
Ultimately this study showed that transgender persons are not having their mental healthcare needs met. Either effective care options are not available or they don’t feel secure in discussing their concerns with their providers. This gives an opportunity to look at how mental healthcare is addressed for this community and explore ways to improve options and restore a sense of security.
Increased understanding of how transgender persons receive mental healthcare and ways the process can be improved is vital in improving the mental health outcomes for the community. Minimizing barriers to their care is a first step in improving it. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Beight, Debra LU
supervisor
organization
course
MPHN40 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
transgender, transition diagnosis, mental healthcare, Sweden
language
English
id
8922065
date added to LUP
2017-08-22 12:35:49
date last changed
2017-08-22 12:35:49
@misc{8922065,
  abstract     = {Transgender persons experience a disproportionate representation in adverse mental health conditions globally. In Sweden there are tangible efforts to improving mental healthcare overall, but as a minority population, transgender persons still struggle with meeting their mental healthcare needs. While social factors such as stigma and discrimination act as catalysts for this burden, there is an absence of understanding the role of mental healthcare for this population and how mental healthcare services are being utilized. 
The aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the mental healthcare needs for transgender persons in Sweden, that are both related and unrelated to the transition process. More specifically this study sought to explore the strategies employed by transgender persons to address their own concerns of mental health issues and mental healthcare. This gives insight into the role of mental healthcare and the ways care was navigated by trans persons. 
Nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with persons who identified as transgender or gender non-binary, over the age of 18, at some stage of transition in Sweden. Data was collected, analyzed, and interpreted using constructivist ground theory.
Three categories emerged from the analysis of the data, Objectification vs. Subjectivity, Constructing the Narrative, and Reflections of Care that illustrate the dual tensions at play in transgender visibility, communication with mental healthcare professionals, and expectations of care. Six subcategories further delineate the specific forces at work in tension with one another that construct the mental healthcare experiences for trans persons.
Increased knowledge and visibility of transgender persons is needed to adequately serve the mental healthcare needs for this population. Currently there are barriers that inhibit transgender persons from getting the mental healthcare assistance desired and needed, as they do not view the healthcare system as safe space within which to receive care. As steps are being taken to de-pathologize transgender identities, momentum should be continued to create space for trans persons in society that enables unencumbered mental health assistance.},
  author       = {Beight, Debra},
  keyword      = {transgender,transition diagnosis,mental healthcare,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Exploring the Needs, Expectations, and Realities of Mental Healthcare for Transgender Adults: A Grounded Theory Study on Experiences in Sweden},
  year         = {2017},
}