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Protocol for Information Gathering Session (IGS) at GenderGP

Purpose

The Information Gathering Session (IGS) at GenderGP serves as a crucial step in the provision of gender-affirming care for individuals seeking to undergo medical transition. The primary objectives of the IGS are as follows:

  1. Evaluation of Needs and Wishes:: The session aims to comprehensively assess the needs and wishes of the individual regarding their gender identity and desired medical interventions.
  2. Informed Consent: It is imperative to ascertain the individual’s capacity to provide informed consent for the interventions they are seeking. The IGS facilitates this process by ensuring that individuals understand the implications and potential risks associated with medical transition.
  3. Support Network Assessment: Understanding the individual’s support network is vital in ensuring they have adequate resources and assistance throughout their transition journey.
  4. Clarification of Expectations: The IGS provides an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions or unrealistic expectations regarding the transition process, thereby promoting informed decision-making.

The Gender Questionnaire

The Gender Questionnaire gives the individual the chance to explain their experiences, their hopes and wishes and to describe their support network. It also asks for an overview of their understanding of the proposed treatment.

Pros and Cons of Reading the Questionnaire Prior to the Session:

Pros:

  • Preparation: Reviewing the questionnaire beforehand allows the Service Provider to familiarise themselves with the individual’s background, experiences, and concerns, enabling more focused and productive discussions during the session.
  • Efficiency: It streamlines the session by providing a foundational understanding of the individual’s circumstances, thereby optimising time and resources.
  • Tailored Approach: By gaining insights from the questionnaire, the service provider can tailor their approach to address specific issues or areas of importance to the individual.

Cons:

  • Bias: Pre-reading the questionnaire may introduce biases or preconceptions, potentially influencing the Service Provider’s perception of the individual before the session.
  • Loss of Spontaneity: There is a risk of losing the spontaneity and organic flow of conversation during the session if the service provider already has preconceived notions based on the questionnaire.
  • Misinterpretation: Without direct interaction with the individual, there is a possibility of misinterpreting or misjudging certain aspects of their responses, leading to inaccurate assessments.

Assessment Outcomes

Following the Information Gathering Session, the Service Provider is tasked with two primary assessments:

  • Assessment of Gender Incongruence: The provider evaluates whether the individual fulfills the criteria for gender incongruence based on established diagnostic guidelines and their presentation during the session.
  • Assessment of Informed Consent Capacity: The provider assesses the individual’s capacity to give informed consent to gender-affirming medical care, ensuring they understand the implications, risks, and alternatives associated with the proposed interventions.

Important Note

The Information Gathering Session is not intended to validate or invalidate someone’s gender identity. Instead, its primary focus is to assist individuals in their decision-making process regarding gender-affirming care. The session should be conducted with sensitivity, empathy, and a commitment to providing personalised support to each individual, respecting their autonomy and self-determination throughout their transition journey.

Updated on February 29, 2024

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