Background : To date knowledge of transgender and gender expansive (TGD) persons experiences in radiology facilities has been confined to negative anecdotal reports. The purpose of this study is to quantify and qualify these events (including mistreatment and dysphoric experiences), identifying how radiology departments can create safer, more affirming spaces.
Methods : A 22-point online anonymous survey was distributed via social media, listservs, and at community events to TGD persons age 18+ who had at least 1 experience in a radiology facility since identifying as TGD.
Results : Results: There are 345 respondents to date. Mean age was 36 (Range 18-77). 64.5% identified as transmasculine, 16.2% transfeminine, and 19.3% as gender expansive. 33.0% experienced physical discomfort (beyond that which they expected or were forewarned about) and 49.3% experienced emotional or psychological discomfort (beyond that which they expected or were forewarned about). Ultrasounds, especially transvaginal, were the most commonly referenced.
59.7% of respondents reported staff interactions as leading contributors to negative experiences (e.g. mis-gendering, making respondents feel unwelcome or unsafe). Direct interactions with technologists were key contributors in over 90% of both positive and negative respondent experiences.
Conclusions : Radiology facilities and their staff play a silent though crucial role in the care of TGD patients. Our data identify target areas for quality improvement among radiology facilities, suggesting that training of direct service providers in TGD cultural competency, and modification of imaging examinations to maximize patient comfort and accommodate body dysphoria, is needed, as well as creating opportunities for community-driven facility improvements and patient care models.