Return-to-work of trans*patients : what do we know so far? A systematic review protocol

Trans* is an umbrella term for people identifying with the spectrum of transgenderism, gender dysphoria, transsexualism, genderqueer, gender-variant, gender-fluid. Some of the trans*individuals undergo a medical transition. Although return-to-work (RTW) has been a major research domain, clear information of job re-entry of trans*patients is lacking. No systematic review on RTW in this population could be retrieved. The objective is to examine RTW outcomes (% RTW, time to RTW, sick days, RTW experiences) of trans*patients in existing literature.


Relevant databases concerning health, psychological , psychiatric, sociological publications as well as grey literature will be explored systematically (including: Pubmed, Embase, Ebscohost, Proquest, Scopus, and Web of science). All searches for evidence were started in January 2019 and will continue until mid February 2019. Studies reporting quantitative and qualitative data of adult transgenders combined with RTW outcomes are eligible for inclusion. Titles and abstracts will be independently screened by two reviewers. Agreement between the two independent reviewers will be assessed using Cohen’s Kappa statistic. Disagreement of full-text evaluations of the remaining records will be resolved by consulting a third reviewer. Data extraction will be performed in accordance to Cochrane collaboration checklist and simultaneous quality assessment will be handled through the QualSyst tool for quantitative and qualitative research. The GRADE approach will be applied for an overall rating of the body of evidence. The PRISMA guidelines shall be used to report. A registration of this systematic review in the PROSPERO database is ongoing.


Preliminary results will be available in May 2019.


To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first study to evaluate RTW in the trans*patients. The findings of this systematic review will provide valuable insights into niche of knowledge around quantitative data and RTW experiences of trans*employees. This systematic review will serve as a foundation for a mixed methods project examining the barriers/facilitators of RTW in trans*employees and to provide preventive tools for tailored reintegration in service of occupational physicians and enterprises.


Joy Van de Cauter (1)
Lutgart Braeckman (1)
Dominique Van de Velde (2)
Matthieu Verbrugghe (3)


Ghent University, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (1)
Ghent University, Department of Rehabilitation Science (2)
Mensura, Occupational Health Service, Antwerp, Belgium (3)

Presenting author

Joy Van de Cauter, PhD student; Occupational physican, Ghent University (Department of Public Health and Primary Care)
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