Assessing Patient Satisfaction Among Transgender Individuals Seeking Medical Services

Ann Plast Surg. 2018 Dec;81(6):725-729. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001582.


Background: Gender dysphoria is estimated to occur in up to 0.4% of the US population. Gender-confirming surgery (GCS) has been shown to improve the quality of life of transgender patients. However, a dearth of standardized and reliable measures specific to transgender individuals exists to objectively gauge sensitivity and competency among providers caring for these patients.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, and Cochrane databases using search terms related to provider competency and sensitivity during consultation for GCS was conducted for studies published through December 2017. Data were gathered from the publications that met inclusion criteria.

Results: The total number of articles focusing on transgender persons was 14 of more than 75,000 patient satisfaction-oriented published articles (<0.001%). Only 8 (57%) of the 14 represented original research. After applying the inclusion criteria, only 2 were found to discuss measures of patient satisfaction specific to transgender individuals. Of these 2, none evaluated patient satisfaction specific to the time of surgical consultation.

Conclusions: With increasing awareness and decreasing stigma surrounding transgender issues, it is likely that more transgender individuals will begin to seek GCS. There is a need for patient-reported experience measures specific to transgender individuals in order to appropriately gauge the interactions they experience with their surgeons. However, current instruments are neither standardized nor reliable for transgender patients to gauge provider sensitivity and competency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*