Impact of Anticipated Bias from Healthcare Professionals on Perceived Successful Aging Among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults


Purpose: Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) persons have routinely experienced high rates of violence and discrimination. Discrimination in healthcare can affect the ability of TGNC persons to age successfully as it often deters them from seeking care. The purpose of this study was to determine if anticipation of bias from healthcare professionals, as well as other variables, predicted perceived successful aging in a sample of TGNC adults.

Methods: A total of 384 (of the original 1963) participants older than 50 years completed the relevant parts of an 83-item online survey as part of the Trans MetLife Survey on Later-Life Preparedness and Perceptions in Transgender-Identified Individuals.

Results: Larger social support networks and higher levels of confidence that a healthcare professional will treat them with dignity and respect as a TGNC person at the end of their life were associated with increased odds of perceiving that they were aging successfully.

Conclusion: With high rates of discrimination and prejudice toward TGNC persons in various contexts (e.g., healthcare, education, and housing), it is imperative that practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and institutions work together to eradicate healthcare disparities, promote social change, and support an environment that encourages successful aging. This calls for a coordinated, proactive outreach effort to put trust back into a system that has historically let down an entire subset of the population.

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LGBT health