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What factors are associated with seeking care for chest binding symptoms?


Hello  :)

I'm a member of the Binding Health Project. Back in March 2014, we posted here asking for folks with experience binding their chests to participate in a survey. Our team is super grateful to all those who participated and made our work possible. We had 1,800 folks respond — an incredible turnout!

An overall description of the data was published in Culture, Health, and Sexuality in June 2014. (see here: In short, 97% of people who bind reported at least one of the 28 negative physical outcomes on the survey (e.g., skin issues, breathing problems, tingling in arms). Binding for *more* days per week was associated with the greatest number of negative outcomes — this suggests that taking days off binding may help. The other thing was that negative outcomes were generally more likely to be associated with commercial binders (as compared to elastic bandages or duct tape). We're not really sure why that is, so we're going to do a deeper dive into that topic soon.

Anyways!! The whole point of this post is that we JUST published another paper. Obviously, we wanted to share the results here  :D

In our newest paper, we identified factors related to seeking care for a chest binding concern. Here's a brief summary of what we found: Although chest binding can improve mental health and physical safety, it can also cause physical harm. A majority of people in our study had experienced negative symptoms from binding, but VERY few (14.8%) had ever sought care to address those symptoms. 57% of people reported that their health care provider knew about their chest binding. When providers were aware of the binding practice, more than half addressed it in a positive (or at least neutral) manner.

The most important (and kinda "no duh") finding from the data is that a trusting, safe relationship with one's health care provider is the most important factor for seeking care. Basically, people go to providers that they feel good about — no one wants to go to a bad doctor. Even though this would be really obvious to most people here, we hope scientific literature like this can inform future policies and be convincing to providers to show how stigma can prevent good healthcare. Some other interesting results from the paper:

People who had pain or neurological/musculoskeletal symptoms were more likely to seek care than other types of symptoms (e.g., gastrointestinal or skin). This means that health care providers should ask about other kinds of less-talked-about symptoms. We also saw that the mere presence of pain was associated with seeking care, but being in severe pain was not really predictive of whether someone sought care. After accounting for the presence of severe pain, someone's CONCERN about the symptom is more likely to result in seeking care. In other words, if someone is concerned about their severe pain then they'll go seek health care. If they're not concerned, they won't. Again, this feels obvious, but it is informative to see a phenomenon where people are minimizing their severe pain. This could be because folks don't think that their doctor can do anything to help with that pain (?), so a next step is coming up with best practices for binding in a safe and healthy manner. We're moving there (albeit slowly, but... we're moving!)

You can access the full article here:  ( If you'd like to share this article with others in the community or who might be interested, here's a link to the tweet-nnouncement from the Journal of Transgender Health profile:

Excited to hear comments, feedback, and questions.

Thanks again!!

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It was interesting to read, thank you

Hi Brooke, Welcome to Susan’s Place!  I’m Jessica.
Thank you for your informative post, I’m certain it will help many here.
There are far too few studies that delve into transgender life and experiences.
Good luck with your endeavors!

I see you’re new, even though you speak of a post in 2014, things may have changed here so I’ll post some links that may help you get better acquainted with the site. Pay attention to the site rules they can be of great help and don’t forget the link highlighted red.  It has answers to questions that are commonly asked. 

Things that you should readSite Terms of Service & Rules to Live ByStandard Terms & DefinitionsPost Ranks (including when you can upload an avatar)Cautionary NoteReputation rulesNews posting & quoting guidelinesPhoto, avatars, & signature images policyMembership Agreement

Northern Star Girl:
Oh, and another thing Brooke...
Please plan to write a post and tell us more about yourself in the Introductions Forum so that other members will be aware of your arrival... therefore you will be able to share your thoughts with more members here.
Thank you again for joining Susan's Place and being involved in the Forums here.
Best wishes to you, and please accept my warm Welcome to Susan's Place
NOTE: Now after all of this Greeting Stuff I will let you have your thread back so you can pursue answers to your questions.
Other members here will certainly be along to give you their comments and suggestions that you may be seeking


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