Transgender patients’ satisfaction with their mental health providers prior to gender affirming surgery

Natalia Parra, Carissa Patete, Amir Tarsha, Lydia A. Fein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Given the World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines requiring patients to present letters from mental health professionals prior to gender affirming surgery (GAS), this study was designed to evaluate patient satisfaction with their mental health provider prior to GAS. Methods: Transgender patients seeking GAS completed three validated questionnaires to evaluate satisfaction with mental health provider (MHP), severity of depression (PHQ-9), and emotional distress (Emotional Thermometer). Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate patient satisfaction with MHP and its association with the length of relationship with MHP, PHQ-9 score, and Emotional Thermometer score. Statistical significance was established for p-values <0.05. Results: Ninety-seven patients (TGW 52; TGM 45) completed the survey. Patients were highly satisfied with their MHP (mean PatSat score 70.68), and this did not differ based upon the length of relationship (p = 0.72). Lower emotional distress was associated with higher patient satisfaction with provider increased (r = −0.255, p = 0.017). Conclusion: In our study, patients demonstrated satisfaction with their MHP prior to GAS, regardless of the length of this relationship. This finding supports current WPATH SOC recommendations and may provide reassurance to those who perceive these guidelines to be barriers to GAS for transgender patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Gender dysphoria
  • gender transition
  • mental health
  • transgender
  • transitioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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