Delays in gender affirming healthcare due to COVID-19 are mitigated by expansion of telemedicine.

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Date

2022-09

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Abstract

Background

Gender-affirming healthcare is vital for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) patients, and during the pandemic, accessing healthcare became challenging. Hypothesizing that many had procedures postponed, we sought to characterize the impact of the pandemic on TGD patients.

Methods

A mixed-methods approach was employed, combining surveys and interviews; Duke patients were identified by ICD-10 codes, while non-Duke (national) patients were recruited through online social media.

Results

All specialties increased telemedicine usage during the pandemic. Duke surgical patients reported a nearly three-fold increase in telemedicine access. COVID-19 symptoms were reported by 24% of Duke and 20% of national patients; barriers to urgent care included the fear of discrimination (27%).

Conclusion

Delays were experienced in all domains of care, mitigated in part by telemedicine. Nearly one-third of patients cite discrimination as a barrier to care. Though pandemic-related expansion of telemedicine may be a marker of success, significant barriers still complicate delivery of healthcare.

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Journal article

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.09.036

Publication Info

Kloer, Carmen, Holly Christopher Lewis and Kristen Rezak (2022). Delays in gender affirming healthcare due to COVID-19 are mitigated by expansion of telemedicine. American journal of surgery. p. S0002-9610(22)00584-0. 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.09.036 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26091.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Lewis

Holly Lewis

House Staff
Rezak

Kristen Marie Rezak

Associate Professor of Surgery

Clinical Focus and Research

Clinical interests include cosmetic breast and body contouring surgery, revision breast surgery, transgender surgery, breast reconstruction and microsurgical free flaps.

Research interests include improving outcomes for free flap surgery, optimizing healing after breast reconstruction, and regenerative medicine.


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