Objectives: Transgender individuals commonly experience barriers to quality health care and may suffer from unique musculoskeletal complaints. Although these needs are often inadequately addressed within the health care system, they could be attended to by the chiropractic community. This narrative review describes best practices for delivering culturally sensitive care to transgender patients within the context of chiropractic offices.
Methods: A literature search generated peer-reviewed material on culturally competent care of the transgender community. Google Scholar and trans-health RSS feeds on social media were also searched to find relevant gray literature. Information pertinent to a chiropractic practice was identified and summarized.
Results: Contemporary definitions of transgender, gender identity, and sexual orientation provide a framework for culturally sensitive language and clinic culture. Small changes in record keeping and office procedures can contribute to a more inclusive environment for transgender patients and improve a chiropractor’s ability to collect important health history information. Special considerations during a musculoskeletal examination may be necessary to properly account for medical and nonmedical practices transgender patients may use to express their gender. Chiropractors should be aware of health care and social and advocacy resources for transgender individuals and recommend them to patients who may need additional support.
Conclusions: Small yet intentional modifications within the health care encounter can enable chiropractors to improve the health and well-being of transgender individuals and communities.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Transgender Persons, Cultural Competency, Quality of Health Care
Author affiliations: Northwestern Health Sciences University. Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy (United States / Minnesota / Bloomington); New England Wellness Group (United States / Vermont / Battleboro); Southern Oregon Spine + Rehab (United States / Oregon / Central Point)
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