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AE Leader Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.


The purpose of this study was to identify successes and limitations in chronic illness management among transgender individuals. An interview guide and questionnaire were created to examine chronic illness experiences through the lens of type 2 diabetes. The interview guide asked open-ended questions about diabetes management behaviors, attitudes, and health care system experiences. The questionnaire collected demographic information. Recruitment fliers were posted in community centers and in several neighborhoods in Philadelphia PA, as well as in online communities and message boards. Eleven respondents were interviewed over the phone or skype; all were 18 years of age or older, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, self-identified as transgender, and current residents of the United States. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, then using the grounded theory approach, coded and recoded according to emerging themes. Means, frequencies, and standard deviations were used to analyze the questionnaire data. Several key themes were evidenced across the interviews. Having information about their health and experiences was a strength, both for themselves and those involved in their care and lives. Hormonal and/ or surgical transition were suspected as a cause or an exacerbating factor in chronic illness, but also given credit for positive management behaviors and as incentive to control diabetes. Participants reported positive associations with single provider experiences. Lack of adequate insurance and finances were commonly cited barriers. This data can serve to inform providers and researchers of transgender patient experiences and lead to strategies when addressing needs and perspectives of transgender patients.

Presentation: 29:21