A new study published in Transgender Health found that gender-diverse youth who received gender-affirming healthcare during COVID-19 via telemedicine were satisfied with receiving care virtually. Dr. Gina Sequeira, co-director of the Gender Clinic at Seattle Children’s and the study’s lead author, says the study affirms telemedicine as a way to reduce the barriers to care these families typically experience, such as finding a local pediatric provider who offers gender-affirming care or the expense of trips to Seattle Children’s from distant locations.

Nearly 30% of study participants said they have traveled more than an hour to receive gender-affirming care. Although many said they preferred in-person visits, about 88% of gender-diverse adolescents were satisfied with conducting gender clinic visits using telemedicine.

Dr. Sequeira, the study’s lead author, found the majority of youth who participated in the study were satisfied with telemedicine and would be willing to use it again in the future. Although many said they preferred in-person visits, about 88% of gender-diverse adolescents were satisfied with conducting gender clinic visits using telemedicine.

“Telemedicine is helping us serve our patients and also support their primary care providers. Many of our gender-diverse youth live hours away from a clinic, and their pediatricians are eager for information about how best to support them,” says Dr. Sequeira.

“Telemedicine has been a great way for us to support gender-diverse youth and their families during the pandemic. Because of the limited number of pediatric gender-affirming care providers in the region, prior to the pandemic, many families experienced geographic- and cost-related barriers to receiving this care. We are hopeful that by continuing to offer gender clinic visits over telemedicine we will be able to overcome some of those barriers,” Dr. Sequeira said.

Read more in “Study Shows Youth Seeking Gender-Affirming Care Were Satisfied with Telemedicine Appointments During COVID-19” in On the Pulse, March 29, 2021.

Read the study, “Gender Diverse Youth’s Telemedicine Experiences.”

Read Using Telemedicine to Reach Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic (October 2020, NCBI).