Sampling Transgender Communities to Assess Healthcare Access and Develop Public Health Programs
*Judith Bradford, Fenway Institute
Keywords: transgender, healthcare access, community-based participatory research, dual response modes
Most research on transgender healthcare is based on small, non-probability samples. Since many transgender people are reluctant to participate in studies, a transgender task force and university research group worked together as full partners to assess provision of transgender health services in Virginia. Online and paper questionnaires were used for a statewide health needs assessment. The hypothesis that sample characteristics and findings would vary by response mode was tested (350 of 367 total respondents). 61% of the sample responded online, 39% completed paper forms. Modality differences in sociodemographics, geography, and public health indicators were explored, using SAS, with significance set at .05. Online responders were significantly older (39.1 vs. 34.0 years), had higher incomes, were 4 times as likely to finish high school, and 2-5 times more likely to have health insurance. Online responders were primarily Caucasian (85%); the paper sample was primarily racial/ethnic minorities (71%). Public health indicators (substance use, mental health) did not vary by response mode, but higher percentages of paper responders had experienced sexual violence (31% vs. 22%).