Evaluating health outcomes of transgender children and adolescents
- Research Opportunity
- Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Referrals of young transgender individuals to clinical services are rising exponentially across the western world. Consistent with this, recent population-based estimates suggest that the prevalence of young people identifying as transgender is ~1%, which is much higher than previously thought.
Providing optimal clinical care for transgender young people is critical. A recent community-based survey of 859 Australian trans youth found a significant proportion had been diagnosed with depression (74.6%) and anxiety (72.2%), with 79.7% of respondents reported having self-harmed and 48.1% having attempted suicide. Many of these young people had never accessed gender-affirming health care, and there is increasing evidence that providing supportive clinical care to transgender youth significantly improves mental health and wellbeing.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service (RCHGS) provides care to transgender children and adolescents, and is one of the largest multidisciplinary clinics of its kind in the world. While our team recently released the first ever clinical guidelines specific for transgender children and adolescents – as highlighted by a recent editorial in The Lancet - there is still a lack of good research data to inform clinical practice in this nascent field.
To address this gap in knowledge, the RCHGS commenced a longitudinal cohort study known as Trans20 at the start of 2017. Trans20 aims to evaluate the clinical outcomes of individuals receiving care through the service, and is currently on track to enrol >600 patients into the study during 2017-8. Data is collected annually across multiple domains, including gender identity, mental health, physical health, quality of life and family functioning. This rich dataset offers a tremendous opportunity for interested PhD students to address important questions in the field of transgender health. In particular, candidates with an interest in transgender health, and a background in psychology, paediatrics, psychiatry, or endocrinology are encouraged to apply.
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Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research
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Research NodeRoyal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
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