Brooks Rehabilitation and University of Florida Researchers Conduct a Scoping Review to Explore the Unmet Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals Following Gender-Affirming Surgery

Clinical Expertise

Aug 28, 2023

Dr. Meryl Alappattu, Brooks clinical research scientist and research assistant professor at the University of Florida (UF) College of Public Health and Health Professions Department of Physical Therapy, collaborated with Dr. Mark Bishop, professor & director of the UF Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and UF research librarian, Jane Morgan-Daniel, to conduct a scoping review to determine the types and rates of pain and dysfunction outcomes reported after gender-affirming surgical procedures. Their paper, titled “Pain and Dysfunction Reported after Gender-Affirming Surgery: A Scoping Review,” was recently published in the Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal.

The research team conducted searches through multiple databases from inception to 2021. A total of 87 papers discussing feminizing procedures and 31 papers discussing masculinizing interventions were reviewed by a team of at least two reviewers. What they found was that although many of the published studies emphasize surgical outcomes, they do not systematically collect specific or standardized information about pain and dysfunction after gender-affirming surgery. Those that do report these outcomes rarely detail the involvement of physical therapists in the recovery after surgery, despite evidence that physical therapists could have a larger role in the recovery of this patient population after surgery.

The results of this scoping review will inform future research studies. Future studies should use recognized measures to characterize patients’ experiences with pain and dysfunction after surgery, and better capture the value added by physical therapist services to patient recovery.

To learn more about the publication, click here.

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