Effects of Different Steps in Gender Reassignment Therapy on Psychopathology: A Prospective Study of Persons with a Gender Identity Disorder

  • Heylens G
  • Verroken C
  • De Cock S
 et al. 
  • 73


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 32


    Citations of this article.


Introduction. At the start of gender reassignment therapy, persons with a gender identity disorder (GID) may deal with various forms of psychopathology. Until now, a limited number of publications focus on the effect of the different phases of treatment on this comorbidity and other psychosocial factors. Aims. The aim of this study was to investigate how gender reassignment therapy affects psychopathology and other psychosocial factors. Methods. This is a prospective study that assessed 57 individuals with GID by using the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) at three different points of time: at presentation, after the start of hormonal treatment, and after sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Questionnaires on psychosocial variables were used to evaluate the evolution between the presentation and the postoperative period. The data were statistically analyzed by using SPSS 19.0, with significance levels set at P < 0.05. Main Outcome Measures. The psychopathological parameters include overall psychoneurotic distress, anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, somatization, paranoid ideation/psychoticism, interpersonal sensitivity, hostility, and sleeping problems. The psychosocial parameters consist of relationship, living situation, employment, sexual contacts, social contacts, substance abuse, and suicide attempt. Results. A difference in SCL-90 overall psychoneurotic distress was observed at the different points of assessments (P = 0.003), with the most prominent decrease occurring after the initiation of hormone therapy (P < 0.001). Significant decreases were found in the subscales such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity, and hostility. Furthermore, the SCL-90 scores resembled those of a general population after hormone therapy was initiated. Analysis of the psychosocial variables showed no significant differences between pre- and postoperative assessments. Conclusions. A marked reduction in psychopathology occurs during the process of sex reassignment therapy, especially after the initiation of hormone therapy.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gender Dysphoria
  • Gender Identity Disorder
  • Gender Reassignment Therapy
  • Psychopathology

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Gunter Heylens

  • Charlotte Verroken

  • Sanne De Cock

  • Guy T'Sjoen

  • Griet De Cuypere

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free