Quality of Life Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 669–676 | Cite as

Determinants of quality of life in Spanish transsexuals attending a gender unit before genital sex reassignment surgery

  • Esther Gómez-GilEmail author
  • Leire Zubiaurre-Elorza
  • Isabel Esteva de Antonio
  • Antonio Guillamon
  • Manel Salamero



To evaluate the self-reported perceived quality of life (QoL) in transsexuals attending a Spanish gender identity unit before genital sex reassignment surgery, and to identify possible determinants that likely contribute to their QoL.


A sample of 119 male-to-female (MF) and 74 female-to-male (FM) transsexuals were included in the study. The WHOQOL-BREF scale was used to evaluate self-reported QoL. Possible determinants included age, sex, education, employment, partnership status, undergoing cross-sex hormonal therapy, receiving at least one non-genital sex reassignment surgery, and family support (assessed with the family APGAR questionnaire).


Mean scores of all QoL domains ranged from 55.44 to 63.51. Linear regression analyses revealed that undergoing cross-sex hormonal treatment, having family support, and having an occupation were associated with a better QoL for all transsexuals. FM transsexuals have higher social domain QoL scores than MF transsexuals. The model accounts for 20.6 % of the variance in the physical, 32.5 % in the psychological, 21.9 % in the social, and 20.1 % in the environment domains, and 22.9 % in the global QoL factor.


Cross-sex hormonal treatment, family support, and working or studying are linked to a better self-reported QoL in transsexuals. Healthcare providers should consider these factors when planning interventions to promote the health-related QoL of transsexuals.


Transsexualism Quality of life WHOQOL-BREF Hormonal sex reassignment therapy Family support Socio-demographic factors 



Male-to-female transsexuals


Female-to-male transsexuals


Quality of life


World Health Organization quality of life scale


Family APGAR Questionnaire


Sex reassignment



This study was supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Igualdad (MI), Instituto de la Mujer, grant IMG2009-PI040964, Ministerio de Economía e Innovación, grant PSI2011-24496, and Junta de Andalucía (JA) grant PI-0254/2007. Leire Zubiaurre-Elorza holds a fellowship from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, AP2008-00935.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther Gómez-Gil
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leire Zubiaurre-Elorza
    • 2
  • Isabel Esteva de Antonio
    • 3
  • Antonio Guillamon
    • 4
  • Manel Salamero
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute Clínic of Neurosciences, Department of Psychiatry, Servicio de Psiquiatría, Hospital ClinicIDIBAPSBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Clinical PsychobiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of EndocrinologyHospital Carlos HayaMalagaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Psychobiology, Psychology FacultyUNEDMadridSpain
  5. 5.Institute Clinic of Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Hospital ClinicIDIBAPSBarcelonaSpain

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