Research

Learn about research projects, publications and opportunities at the Gender Clinic.

Research into health care for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people has many gaps and has not received the necessary funding in Australia for many years. At Monash Health Gender Clinic, we aim to make a significant contribution to research that can improve health outcomes for our clients, and for TGDNB people more generally. We look for collaboration with research academics, students and the TGDNB community. To help support this, we employ a Project/Research Worker and a Research Assistant to: maintain links with the TGDNB community and with researchers in the field; support research students; and undertake research and quality improvement projects.

Research underway

In September 2022, there were several projects underway:

  • Quality Improvement: Gender Clinic Client Satisfaction Survey
  • Compare models: MHP and GP gender incongruence assessment and hormone prescription: Phase 1 is a Bachelor Medical Science (Honours) qualitative study; Phase 2 in 2023 will be a clinical trial within the Gender Clinic.
  • Inclusive practice in pregnancy determination for radiological examinations: paper in development in collaboration with radiology staff and a medical student
  • A Gender Clinic staff member is externally supervising a Monash University Medical Student/Resident research project: Trans Menopause: Exploring the meanings and experiences of menopause for trans and gender diverse people. Publication in development
  • Harjit Bagga, the Gender Clinic psychology clinical lead, is undertaking a PhD examining the impact of gender affirming  hormonal treatments on cognitive abilities, mood and personality.
  • We collect samples for genetic research conducted by Ass Prof Vincent Harley at the Hudson Institute for Medical Research.

Research completed

There are several recently completed projects:

  • Anthropology Masters in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen: Policing gender expression: Exploring the clinician-client relationship with reference to the provisioning of hormone therapy as gender affirming treatment.
  • Bachelor Medical Science (Honours): Models of care for the trans, gender diverse and non-binary community in Victoria: a quantitative comparison. Journal article published

Other recent research contributions

H Bagga participated in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health sub-committee developing the Mental Heath chapter for the Standards of Care Version 8.

Staff members presented at the 2022 Australian Professional Association for Trans Health conference:

  • R Lane: Models of care for the trans, gender diverse and non-binary community in Victoria: a quantitative comparison
  • T Takala: WPATH Assessments in Foundations workshops, Mental Health stream

Research planned

  • 2023 Bachelor Medical Science (Honours) study in collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital gender service; evaluating effectiveness of a GP secondary consultation phone line service. ;
  • A collaborative study to compare processes and outcomes for TGDNB people seeking medical transition who are attending clinics working under different models, such as the Monash Gender Clinic, Equinox and other primary care-based clinics already existing or soon to be established.
  • A prospective longitudinal follow up study with clients of the clinic at successive times points over a ten year period. Steps underway or planned toward this include:
    • Review surveys completed by clinicians 90-days after client’s first appointment
    • Follow up surveys completed by clinicians after completion of assessment, including analysis of clinical instruments
    • Qualitative interviews with clients after assessment and gender affirming treatments

Recent relevant publications by clinic staff and students

  • Solanki P, Colon-Cabrera D, Barton C, Locke P, Cheung AS, Spanos C,Grace J,
    Erasmus, J, Lane R (2020). “Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy for the Trans, Gender Diverse, and Nonbinary Community: Coordinating World Professional Association for Transgender Health and Informed Consent Models of Care.” Transgender Health .
  • Erasmus, J. (2020). “Monash Gender Clinic: an overview of the current model of care.” Australasian Psychiatry: 28(5), 533-535.
  • Cheung, A. S., K. Wynne, J. Erasmus, S. Murray and J. D. Zajac (2019). “Position statement on the hormonal management of adult transgender and gender diverse individuals.” The Medical journal of Australia: 211, 127-133.
  • Lane R. (2019) ‘Developing inclusive primary care for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people’ Canadian Medical Association Journal: 191(3), E61-E62.
  • Foreman, M., L. Hare, K. York, K. Balakrishnan, F. J. Sánchez, F. Harte, J. Erasmus, E. Vilain and V. R. Harley. (2018). “A genetic link between gender dysphoria and sex hormone signalling.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: 104(2), 390-396.
  • Lane, R. (2018) ‘”We are here to help”: Who opens the gate for surgeries?’ TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly: 5(2), 207-227.
  • Pang, K., Lane, R., Bagga, H. (2017) ‘Gender Dysphoria’ In Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives 4th Edition (Ed. Rieger, E). McGraw-Hill Education: Sydney.
  • Hakeem, A., Črnčec, R., Asghari-Fard, M., Harte, F., Eapen, V. (2016). “Development and validation of a measure for assessing gender dysphoria in adults: The Gender Preoccupation and Stability Questionnaire.” International Journal of Transgenderism: 17(3-4), 131–140.
  • Lane, R. (2016) ‘Reading trans biology as a feminist sociologist’ TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly: 3(1-2), 185-191.
  • Erasmus, J, Bagga, H, Harte, F (2015) Assessing patient satisfaction with a multidisciplinary gender dysphoria clinic in Melbourne. Australasian Psychiatry 23, 158-162.
  • Bouman, W. P., Richards, C., Addinall, R. M., Arango de Montis, I., Arcelus, J., Duisin, D., Esteva, I., Fisher, A., Harte, F., Khoury, B., Lu, Z., Marais, A., Mattila, A., Nayarana Reddy, D., Nieder, T. O., Robles Garcia, R., Rodrigues, O. M., Roque Guerra, A., Tereshkevich, D., T’Sjoen, G., Wilson, D. (2014). “Yes and yes again: are standards of care which require two referrals for genital reconstructive surgery ethical?” Sexual and Relationship Therapy 29(4): 377-389.
  • Lane, R. (2012) ‘Paradigm and power shifts in the gender clinic’. In: Manderson L, editor. Technologies of sexuality, identity, and sexual health. Milton: Routledge: 205-30.
  • Erasmus, J. (2011). “Legal requirements to change gender: An abuse of human rights?” Australasian Psychiatry 19(3): 271.

Research opportunities

Collaboration with researchers and institutions

We are open to collaborations with research institutions across a range of medical, health and social science disciplines. This can include: endorsement for grant applications, joint grant applications, providing a research site for grant-funded projects, undergraduate and postgraduate research students.

Student research

  • Undergraduate (e.g. 3rd year social science research projects; medical student Scholarly Intensive Placements)
  • Honours
  • Post-graduate: Masters; Doctorate

We have experienced supervisors available to co-supervise students for research projects at all levels. Dr. Riki Lane is the contact for coordinating research and can be reached at: riki.lane@monashhealth.org