Mental health and quality of life outcomes of gender-affirming surgery: A systematic literature review

Swan, Jaime and Phillips, Tania M. and Sanders, Tait and Mullens, Amy B. ORCID: and Debattista, Joseph and Bromdal, Annette ORCID: (2022) Mental health and quality of life outcomes of gender-affirming surgery: A systematic literature review. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health. pp. 1-44. ISSN 1935-9705

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Introduction: Transgender individuals experience disproportionately higher rates of mental health concerns and lower quality of life (QoL) than the general population. Gender-affirming healthcare can reduce negative mental health outcomes and improve QoL. This review explores the mental health and QoL outcomes to accessing gender-affirming surgery for transgender individuals. Method: Following the PRISMA guidelines, searches were conducted using five databases for peer-reviewed articles, in English, with full-text available online published between January 2000 and August 2021. Result: 53 studies were included. Findings indicate reduced rates of suicide attempts, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of gender dysphoria along with higher levels of life satisfaction, happiness and QoL after gender-affirming surgery. Some studies reported that initial QoL improvements post gender-affirming surgery were not always enduring. Conclusion: This review supports the need for more sustainable and accessible gender-affirming surgery as a means for improving the mental health and overall QoL among transgender individuals and indicates the need for further research with greater methodological rigor focusing on correlates of positive gender-affirming surgical outcomes. Without social, legal, and public policy responses to transgender discrimination, marginalization and exclusion, the beneficial outcomes of improved gender-affirming surgery will remain unclear.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 03:49
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 01:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender-affirming surgery; mental health; preferred models of care; quality of life; Transgender
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440508 Transgender studies
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520502 Gender psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2301 Community services > 230108 Gender and sexualities
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200204 Health inequalities
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