Transgender individuals may experience significant improvement in psychological functioning after as little as 3-6 months of hormone therapy, with improved quality of life reported within 12 months of initiating therapy by both female-to-male and male-to-female transgender individuals, according to an article published in Transgender Health, a new peer-reviewed open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available open access on the Transgender Health website.
Jaclyn White Hughto and Sari Reisner, Fenway Health, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, MA), and Yale School of Public Health (New Haven, CT), reviewed the evidence from published studies of transgender adults treated with hormone therapy for gender identity disorder. The researchers report the changes in mental health status-including depression and anxiety-and quality of life outcomes after 3-6 months and 12 months of hormone treatment compared to baseline measures. They present the study design and results in "A Systematic Review of the Effects of Hormone Therapy on Psychological Functioning and Quality of Life in Transgender Individuals."
"Reviews of the existing literature of this nature are hugely helpful in moving the field of transgender health forward," says Editor-in-Chief Robert Garofalo MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Director, Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "This work highlights a healthcare disparity affecting transgender people-depression and anxiety-and offers a potential therapeutic option to help eliminate or reduce it: access to hormone therapy. It sets the bar for future research to be conducted in this area, which is sorely needed and may help some clinicians caring for transgender people."