Psychosocial health in adolescents and young adults with gender dysphoria before and after gender-affirming medical interventions: a descriptive study from the Hamburg Gender Identity Service


Empirical evidence concerning the psychosocial health outcomes after puberty suppression and gender-affirming (GA) medical interventions of adolescents with gender dysphoria (GD) is scarce. The aim of the present study was to describe how dimensions of psychosocial health were distributed among different intervention groups of adolescents with a GD diagnosis from the Hamburg Gender Identity Service before and after treatment. Participants included n = 75 adolescents and young adults from a clinical cohort sample, measured at their initial intake and on average 2 years later (M treatment duration = 21.4 months). All cases were divided into four different intervention groups, three of which received medical interventions. At baseline, both psychological functioning and quality of life scores were significantly below the norm mean for all intervention groups. At follow-up, adolescents in the gender-affirming hormone (GAH) and surgery (GAS) group reported emotional and behavioral problems and physical quality of life scores similar to the German norm mean. However, some of the psychosocial health outcome scores were still significantly different from the norm. Because this study did not test for statistically significant differences between the four intervention groups or before and after treatment, the findings cannot be generalized to other samples of transgender adolescents. However, GA interventions may help to improve psychosocial health outcomes in this sample of German adolescents. Long-term treatment decisions during adolescence warrant careful evaluation and informed, participatory decision-making by a multidisciplinary team and should include both medical interventions and psychosocial support. The present study highlights the urgent need for further ongoing longitudinal research.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 01.11.2021
PubMed 32990772