Title

Development of a telehealth intervention to promote care-seeking among transgender women of color in Washington, DC

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-1-2020

Journal

Public Health Nursing

Volume

37

Issue

2

DOI

10.1111/phn.12709

Keywords

access to care; health disparities; tailored intervention development; telehealth; telemedicine; transgender health

Abstract

© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Background: Transgender women of color (TWC) are an underserved population who often experience high rates of HIV and barriers to care including stigma, violence, and trauma. Few health information technology interventions are tailored to serve TWC. The purpose of this study was to inform the development of a TWC-specific telehealth intervention to increase access to care. Methods: Formative qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted to develop a customized telehealth intervention for TWC. Participants were TWC ≥ 18 years living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, with at least one structural barrier to care and clinicians ≥18 years who provide care to TWC. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic coding and content analysis; barriers for TWC were categorized into Individual, Organizational, and Environmental levels. Several day-long meetings with TWC and stakeholders were convened to develop the intervention. Results: Saturation of theme on barriers to care was reached with 22 interviews. Identified barriers to service receipt included survival, instability, temporal discounting, and prioritizing hormone therapy over care, incongruence between providers and patients, pessimism, and lack of cultural competency. Each was intentionally addressed with the telehealth intervention. Conclusions: Data informed the development of an innovative and customized telehealth intervention for TWC. Through the integration of technology and peer consultant outreach, we developed a novel approach that can address population-specific challenges to care. Further development of this model may be able to improve health outcomes among TWC.

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