Purpose: Transgender individuals (TIs) experience a number of healthcare disparities that result in compromised access to health care, placing them at high risk for poor health outcomes. Despite their unique health concerns, there is little known about how they engage in health care. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to construct a theoretical framework that depicts the process by which transgender individuals engage in health care. Methods: In this grounded theory study, data from interviews with 25 individuals who self-identified as transgender were used to develop a theoretical framework that depicts the process by which TIs engage in health care. Data analysis included open coding, category formation, and theoretical coding. Constant comparative analysis was used to facilitate theory generation. Conclusions: The central phenomenon of how TIs engage in health care was the core process of navigating the system. The core process involves four subprocesses: needing to move forward, doing due diligence, finding loopholes, and making it work. Clinical Relevance: The theoretical framework of navigating the system can provide healthcare providers with a way to understand how TIs engage in health care as they move through the subprocesses of moving forward, doing due diligence, finding loopholes, and making it work in order to get their healthcare needs met. With a better understanding of the healthcare journeys of TIs, healthcare providers can provide better care for this population and advocate for change in policies that contribute to the health disparities TIs experience.
- Health care
ASJC Scopus subject areas