Considering Quality Measures for the Care of Transgender Patients: Preliminary Findings from a Technical Expert Panel

Michael S. Dunbar*, Jaclyn M.W. Hughto, Guneet K. Jasuja, Emily K. Quinn, Madeline Deutsch, Asa Radix, Jamie Feldman, Jennifer Abbott, Joshua D. Safer, Julie Thompson, Adam J. Rose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Transgender (TG) individuals are a historically understudied and underserved patient population. Although clinical guidelines for the care of TG patients exist, quality measures (QMs) specific to this population are lacking. The goal of this study was to obtain expert input on aspects of care for which quality measurement may be appropriate and describe feedback on candidate QMs. Methods: We convened a virtual technical expert panel in September 2020 with six experts in TG medical care. Experts participated in a guided discussion and provided numeric ratings on dimensions of measure suitability (importance, validity/reliability, feasibility, and ease of understanding) for eight candidate QMs spanning multiple care domains (e.g., laboratory testing/monitoring, cancer screening, and sexually transmitted infection screening). Results: Panelists acknowledged high importance and potential to improve care for some candidate QMs, particularly those related to laboratory testing before initiating and during hormone therapy. Numeric ratings of QMs varied but tended to be higher for testing-focused QMs. Experts raised concerns about overly prescriptive language for some QMs and emphasized the importance of considering more flexible specifications to accommodate diverse care scenarios - including care provided to nonbinary individuals - and align with the individualized nature of gender-affirming care. Conclusion: These preliminary findings support a potential role for QMs in improving quality of care for TG patients. Measures related to laboratory testing/monitoring for patients who receive or plan to initiate hormone therapy may be feasible and promising to explore in the future. Additional larger-scale efforts are needed to develop and test QMs for the care of TG individuals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalLGBT Health
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2022, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2022.

Keywords

  • gender-affirming care
  • quality measurement
  • quality of care
  • transgender

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