The Swedish Gender Dysphoria Study (SGDS)

The Swedish Gender Dysphoria Study is a national multicentre study that has been running since 2016. The study is recruiting patients with gender dysphoria, under clinical assessment or treatment, who have contact with psychiatry or endocrinology clinics in Umeå, Uppsala, Alingsås, Gothenburg, Linköping, Malmö, Lund and with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry clinic in Stockholm. Currently, the study has about 400 participants and an additional 458 individuals are included in the study's control group. Recruitment and data collection is ongoing and is expected to be completed by December 2022.

The overall aim of the study is to contribute to a better understanding of the development of gender dysphoria and to identify important factors associated with better outcomes in terms of symptoms of gender dysphoria, somatic and mental health, quality of life, ability to work, education and perceived social stigma. This can hopefully lead to improved care for people with gender dysphoria in the future.

The study consists of several parts. Participants are asked to complete online questionnaires, undertake cognitive tests before and after hormonal treatment, and provide saliva samples for genetic analyses. A new feature of the study is that it is now possible to collect participants' hair and PKU samples. This is to examine possible links between gender dysphoria and exposure to various environmental substances during the fetal period and early life. Participants choose which parts of the study they want to participate in.

Substudies and results

A number of sub-studies have already been conducted and results from these have been presented at national and international scientific conferences (e.g. SFTH and EPATH) and/or compiled in manuscripts and master theses. Areas investigated include self-harm behaviours, eating disorder symptoms, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and preferences for gender affirming treatment. In addition, a validation and psychometric evaluation of the Transgender Congruence Scale (TCS) was conducted.

The SGDS study has a steering committee with the following members

Fotios Papadopoulos, Associate Professor and consultant Psychiatrist, Uppsala
Alkistis Skalkidou, Professor and consultant Gynaecologist, Uppsala
Owe Bodlund, Associate Professor and consultant Psychiatrist, Umeå
Lars-Göran Sjöström, Senior consultant, Endocrinology, Umeå
Åsa Tivesten, Professor and Senior consultant, Endocrinology, Gothenburg
Ulrika Beckman, Psychologist, Alingsås
Attila Fazekas, Senior consultant, Psychiatry Lund
Nils Thelin, Senior consultant, Psychiatry, Linköping
Jeanette Wahlberg, Senior consultant Endocrinology, Linköping
Louise Frisén, Senior Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stockholm

For questions about the study, please contact: (Fotios Papadopoulos)

Last modified: 2022-10-04