Monday, January 10, 2022

Study Reveals Increased Rate of PTSD Among Transgender Military Veterans

Researchers have published a new study titled Identifying Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Disparity Among Transgender Veterans Using Nationwide Veterans Health Administration.  It was published in LGBT Health by Nicholas A. Livingston, Kristine E. Lynch, Zig Hinds, Elise Gatsby, Scott L. DuVall, and Jillian C. Shipherd. The study is described as follows:   

The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric disorders is high among military veterans and even higher among transgender veterans. Prior prevalence estimates have become outdated, and novel methods of estimation have since been developed but not used to estimate PTSD prevalence among transgender veterans. This study provides updated estimates of PTSD prevalence among transgender and cisgender veterans. 

The results revealed that: 

The prevalence of PTSD was 1.5–1.8 times higher among transgender veterans. Descriptive data suggest that the prevalence of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcohol and non-alcohol substance use disorders, current/former smoking status, and military sexual trauma was also elevated among transgender veterans.

These results inform military culture, benefits, and policy: 

These disparities signal a need for ongoing monitoring, outreach, prevention, and treatment to offset risk and address potential unmet treatment need among transgender veterans. Extant literature highlights the role of minority stress in accounting for elevated rates of psychiatric disorder among transgender veterans. Although systems-level change to improve access to comprehensive treatment for gender dysphoria is underway, provider-level gender affirmation and gender-affirming care are essential. It is possible that transgender veterans would also benefit from evidence-based PTSD treatment that is tailored to the compounded effects of trauma and minority stress.

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