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Psychiatric characteristics in transsexual individuals: multicentre study in four European countries

  • Gunter Heylens (a1), Els Elaut (a1), Baudewijntje P. C. Kreukels (a2), Muirne C. S. Paap (a3), Susanne Cerwenka (a4), Hertha Richter-Appelt (a4), Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis (a5), Ira R. Haraldsen (a6) and Griet De Cuypere (a1)...

Research into the relationship between gender identity disorder and psychiatric problems has shown contradictory results.


To investigate psychiatric problems in adults fulfilling DSM-IVTR criteria for a diagnosis of gender identity disorder.


Data were collected within the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview – Plus and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders (n = 305).


In 38% of the individuals with gender identity disorder a current DSM-IV-TR Axis I diagnosis was found, mainly affective disorders and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, almost 70% had a current and lifetime diagnosis. All four countries showed a similar prevalence, except for affective and anxiety disorders, and no difference was found between individuals with early-onset and late-onset disorder. An Axis II diagnosis was found in 15% of all individuals with gender identity disorder, which is comparable to the general population.


People with gender identity disorder show more psychiatric problems than the general population; mostly affective and anxiety problems are found.

Corresponding author
Gunter Heylens, Department of Sexology and Gender Problems, University Hospital Ghent De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Email:
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See editorial, pp. 96–97, this issue.

Declaration of interest


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Psychiatric characteristics in transsexual individuals: multicentre study in four European countries

  • Gunter Heylens (a1), Els Elaut (a1), Baudewijntje P. C. Kreukels (a2), Muirne C. S. Paap (a3), Susanne Cerwenka (a4), Hertha Richter-Appelt (a4), Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis (a5), Ira R. Haraldsen (a6) and Griet De Cuypere (a1)...
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