Factors Associated with Medical Doctors' Intentions to Discriminate Against Transgender Patients in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Aishwarya Vijay, Valerie A. Earnshaw, Ying Chew Tee, Veena Pillai, Jaclyn M. White Hughto, Kirsty Clark, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Frederick L. Altice, Jeffrey A. Wickersham

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Transgender people are frequent targets of discrimination. Discrimination against transgender people in the context of healthcare can lead to poor health outcomes and facilitate the growth of health disparities. This study explores factors associated with medical doctors' intentions to discriminate against transgender people in Malaysia. Methods: A total of 436 physicians at two major university medical centers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed an online survey. Sociodemographic characteristics, stigma-related constructs, and intentions to discriminate against transgender people were measured. Bivariate and multivariate linear regression were used to evaluate independent covariates of discrimination intent. Results: Medical doctors who felt more fearful of transgender people and more personal shame associated with transgender people expressed greater intention to discriminate against transgender people, whereas doctors who endorsed the belief that transgender people deserve good care reported lower discrimination intent. Stigma-related constructs accounted for 42% of the variance and 8% was accounted for by sociodemographic characteristics. Conclusions: Constructs associated with transgender stigma play an important role in medical doctors' intentions to discriminate against transgender patients. Development of interventions to improve medical doctors' knowledge about and attitudes toward transgender people are necessary to reduce discriminatory intent in healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalLGBT Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • delivery of healthcare
  • discrimination
  • Malaysia
  • stigma
  • transgender persons

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