Background: Transgender people are a vulnerable group with a higher incidence of mental health issues and, during the COVID-19 outbreak, they may have faced psychological, physical and social obstacles. Aim: To evaluate the impact of the pandemic and the access to health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the transgender people living in Italy. Methods: An anonymous web-based survey was conducted among transgender people living in Italy. Outcomes: The survey consisted of 41 questions (to address socio-demographic and COVID-19 related variables, general health problems and trans-related health issues) and three validated questionnaires (the Impact of Event Scale [IES], the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI-II] and the SF-12. Results: In total 108 respondents were included in the analysis, of these 73.1% were transmen and 26.9% transwomen. The mean age was 34.3 § 11.7 years with 88.9% undergoing gender affirming hormonal treatment (GAHT). Of these respondents 55.6% were not working during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because they lost their jobs due to the lockdown (30.5%) or because they were otherwise unemployed (25.0%). Only four subjects were quarantined at home because of a positive COVID-19 swab. The mean total IES score was 21.1 § 14.9 with 24.1% of subjects scoring over the cut-off score of 26 thereby suggesting a moderate-to-severe impact of the pandemic event. Mean BDI score was 8.6 § 8.4. SF-12 total mean score was 96.1 § 11.9 with a Mental Component Summary (MCS) score of 42.8 § 9.1. Access to endocrinological consultations for hormonal prescription via telemedicine services was associated with better IES total scores (P = .01). Clinical Implications: Our results highlight the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of this particular population and how telemedicine services may serve to mitigate negative psychological effects. Strengths & Limitations: Internet-based surveys may select a group of people not necessary representative of the whole population. The self-reporting bias should also be considered. Those who responded to our survey were mainly from northern Italy were COVID-19 has had a greater impact. Conclusion: Vulnerable groups such as the transgender population should receive more consideration also during pandemic events and their access to health services especially for endocrine and mental health care should be improved. A nationwide plan for the extended use of telemedicine should be established with targeted intervention to reduce psychological distress.

Mental Health and Endocrine Telemedicine Consultations in Transgender Subjects During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy: A Cross-Sectional Web-Based Survey

Gava, Giulia
;
Alvisi, Stefania;Mancini, Ilaria;Franceschelli, Alessandro;Seracchioli, Renato;Meriggiola, Maria Cristina
2021

Abstract

Background: Transgender people are a vulnerable group with a higher incidence of mental health issues and, during the COVID-19 outbreak, they may have faced psychological, physical and social obstacles. Aim: To evaluate the impact of the pandemic and the access to health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the transgender people living in Italy. Methods: An anonymous web-based survey was conducted among transgender people living in Italy. Outcomes: The survey consisted of 41 questions (to address socio-demographic and COVID-19 related variables, general health problems and trans-related health issues) and three validated questionnaires (the Impact of Event Scale [IES], the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI-II] and the SF-12. Results: In total 108 respondents were included in the analysis, of these 73.1% were transmen and 26.9% transwomen. The mean age was 34.3 § 11.7 years with 88.9% undergoing gender affirming hormonal treatment (GAHT). Of these respondents 55.6% were not working during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because they lost their jobs due to the lockdown (30.5%) or because they were otherwise unemployed (25.0%). Only four subjects were quarantined at home because of a positive COVID-19 swab. The mean total IES score was 21.1 § 14.9 with 24.1% of subjects scoring over the cut-off score of 26 thereby suggesting a moderate-to-severe impact of the pandemic event. Mean BDI score was 8.6 § 8.4. SF-12 total mean score was 96.1 § 11.9 with a Mental Component Summary (MCS) score of 42.8 § 9.1. Access to endocrinological consultations for hormonal prescription via telemedicine services was associated with better IES total scores (P = .01). Clinical Implications: Our results highlight the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of this particular population and how telemedicine services may serve to mitigate negative psychological effects. Strengths & Limitations: Internet-based surveys may select a group of people not necessary representative of the whole population. The self-reporting bias should also be considered. Those who responded to our survey were mainly from northern Italy were COVID-19 has had a greater impact. Conclusion: Vulnerable groups such as the transgender population should receive more consideration also during pandemic events and their access to health services especially for endocrine and mental health care should be improved. A nationwide plan for the extended use of telemedicine should be established with targeted intervention to reduce psychological distress.
Gava, Giulia; Fisher, Alessandra Daphne; Alvisi, Stefania; Mancini, Ilaria; Franceschelli, Alessandro; Seracchioli, Renato; Meriggiola, Maria Cristina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/819341
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