Suicide-related outcomes following gender-affirming treatment: A review
Gender-affirming treatment remains a topic of controversy; of particular concern is whether gender-affirming treatment reduces suicidality. A narrative review was undertaken evaluating suicide-related outcomes following gender- affirming surgery, hormones, and/or puberty blockers. Of the 23 studies that met the inclusion criteria, the majority indicated a reduction in suicidality following gender-affirming treatment; however, the literature to date suffers from a lack of methodological rigor that increases the risk of type I error. There is a need for continued research in suicidality outcomes following gender-affirming treatment that adequately controls for the presence of psychiatric comorbidity and treatment, substance use, and other suicide risk-enhancing and reducing factors. There is also a need for future systematic reviews given the inherent limitations of a narrative review. There may be implications on the informed consent process of gender-affirming treatment given the current lack of methodological robustness of the literature reviewed.