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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Health Care Needs and Health-Related Disparities: Building Cultural Competence in Working with Transgender Individuals

by Jae Sevelius, PhD 3 CE Credits

The term ‘transgender’ applies to a range of diverse individuals whose gender identity and/or gender expression is not concordant with the gender they were assigned at birth. Some transgender people seek hormonal and/or surgical intervention, while others do not. Transgender people face multiple social and institutional barriers to competent mental and physical healthcare in addition to life challenges that often contribute to substance abuse and HIV risk behaviors. Healthcare providers who work with transgender people often express the desire to treat their patients with competence and respect, but also acknowledge frustration with the lack of information and resources available to inform their practice and expand their awareness of this highly varied population. This course provides an introduction to the range of gender expressions and experiences providers may encounter in their practice along with treatment guidelines and ways to address the multiple barriers that transgender people often encounter in their search for culturally competent care. An overview of substance use and HIV prevalence and risk behaviors in transgender communities is provided, along with risk reduction strategies and recommendations for enhancing quality of care for transgender clients.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB CE clock hours (Cultural Competency/Diversity​), and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction: Terminology and Prevalence
  • Identity Development
  • Societal Impact: Transphobia, Discrimination, and Violence
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Medical Health Issues: Barriers to Standard Care
  • Trans Health Services
  • Health-Related Behavioral Risks
  • Working with Transgendered Patients: Building Cultural Competence
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Distinguish between the terms ‘sex’, ‘gender identity’, ‘gender expression’, and ‘sexual orientation’.
  • Define ‘transphobia’ and identify three major consequences of transphobia in the lives of transgender people.
  • Identify two major barriers for transgender individuals seeking culturally-sensitive mental and physical health care and describe ways to address these barriers.
  • Articulate three factors that must be considered when designing culturally competent substance abuse treatment or HIV prevention programs for transgender people.