Screening, Counseling, and Shared Decision Making for Alcohol Use with Transgender and Gender-Diverse Populations

November 25, 2020
The cover photo of the journal "LGBT Health"

A new paper by Jacob Arellano-Anderson, HMS student, and Alex S. Keuroghlian, HMS Associate Professor of Psychiatry, discusses the limitations of current alcohol use disorder (AUD) screening tools for accurately assessing and counseling transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse patients. 

Abstract: At-risk alcohol use occurs among transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) populations, yet current alcohol use screening tools and guidelines do not distinguish between sex- and gender-related characteristics, having been developed without accounting for natal sex-based physiology, effects of gender-affirming medical care, and gendered drinking behavior among TGD people. More research on how sex- and gender-related factors independently influence alcohol use can help validate gender-inclusive screening protocols and develop evidence-based guidelines meaningful for people of all genders. In the interim, clinicians must be mindful of gender diversity and engage in transparent, collaborative discussions when screening for and counseling about alcohol use.

Keywords: alcohol, counseling, gender identity, nonbinary, screening, transgender

DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2020.0179

This paper can be accessed online here (requires HarvardKey).