Johns Hopkins laryngologist Simon Best summarizes findings from a study that identified factors that help transgender patients follow through with the recommended course of treatment for vocal care. Improving modifiable factors such as the availability of telemedicine for patients who live far away and the parsing of treatment focus by system resulted in both a higher rate of follow through and better outcomes.
I'm Dr Simon Best, Associate professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a member of the johNS Hopkins Voice Center. One type of innovative care that we offer here at our voice center is multidisciplinary voice care for the transgender patient population. In collaboration with our speech language pathologists. We as voice surgeons offer a combination approach for patients including voice therapy, voice surgery or both as needed for the demands of any particular patient. We've looked into what sort of factors are involved in helping transgender patients meet their vocal needs in terms of completing the course of therapy that's been recommended or outlined, whether that's voice therapy, surgery or both. It turns out there are a number of modifiable factors that can help us as providers improve the care that we offer transgender patients. One of the factors that we saw when we saw patients who did not finish the course of therapy was that the distance traveled to clinic and the availability of telemedicine was a key factor in allowing patients to finish their therapy. Telemedicine is a great option for voice therapy and is now widely available at our voice center with all of our speech therapists and including us as surgeons. If telemedicine was an option, patients were more likely to be able to finish their course of voice therapy. Another finding that was very interesting and somewhat paradoxical was that when patients were offered multidisciplinary care across multiple medical specialties addressing multiple medical issues or potential surgical procedures. They actually tended to not follow through with the complete course of recommended voice care. It makes sense if you think about patients being offered or trying to schedule surgeries, postoperative visits, therapy, medical visits, lab tests that some things would fall through the cracks when patients were focused more on a systems by systems approach to their care, voice therapy and voice surgery. As a dedicated course of fair with care without a lot of other things going on, they were more likely to finish the course of therapy so we, as providers, can help our transgender patients by making sure that telemedicine is an option and making sure that there's a clear and consistent focus on the goals of care to help them achieve their vocal needs. Thank you.