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Type: Journal article
Title: The impact of the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian trans community
Author: Zwickl, S.
Angus, L.M.
Qi, A.W.F.
Ginger, A.
Eshin, K.
Cook, T.
Leemaqz, S.Y.
Dowers, E.
Zajac, J.D.
Cheung, A.S.
Citation: International Journal of Transgender Health, 2021; 1-11
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 2689-5269
Statement of
Sav Zwickl, Lachlan M. Angus, Alex Wong Fang, Ariel Ginger, Kalen Eshin, Teddy Cook ... et al.
Abstract: Background: Trans and gender diverse individuals (people who identify with a gender different to what was presumed for them at birth) are one of the most medically and socially marginalized groups in our community. The COVID-19 pandemic may compound preexisting depression and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Aim: We aimed to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian trans community. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted between 1st May 2020 and 30th June 2020, amidst strict Australia-wide social restrictions. Australian trans people aged ≥16 years were eligible to participate. Survey questions explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on living situation, employment, financial situation, and healthcare. Logistic regression to assess negative impacts due to COVID-19 on depression and thoughts of self-harm or suicide (measured by Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) are presented as odds ratios (95% confidence interval)). Results: Of 1019 participants, 49.6% reported experiencing financial strain, 22% had reduced working hours, and 22.4% were unemployed (three times the national rate). Concerningly, 61.1% experienced clinically significant symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10), considerably higher than pre-COVID rates for the trans community and over twice the national rate. Moreover, 49% reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide (over three times the national rate) which was more likely if a person experienced cancelation or postponement of gender-affirming surgery (OR 1.56 (1.04, 2.35)), financial strain (OR 1.80 (1.36, 2.38)), or felt unsafe or afraid in their household (OR 1.96 (1.23, 3.08)). Discussion: Given rates of clinically significant depression and thoughts of self-harm or suicide are far higher in trans people than the general population, specific strategies to improve mental health in the trans community during the COVID-19 pandemic must be made a priority for policymakers, researchers, and health service providers to prevent suicide.
Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; depression; suicidality; transgender
Description: Published online: 11 Mar 2021. OnlinePubl
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
DOI: 10.1080/26895269.2021.1890659
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Psychology publications

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