Transition program may improve care for adolescents with rheumatic diseases
medwireNews: A dedicated clinical pathway may improve the transition from pediatric to adult care for adolescents with juvenile-onset rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, researchers report.
Margot Walter and co-investigators, from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, developed a clinical pathway for young rheumatology patients at their institution, which focused on starting the transition process at the age of 12–14 years, and aimed to develop self-management skills and independence through individualized transition plans. The team also launched a dedicated adolescent clinic for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients aged 12–23 years.
One year after the implementation of this pathway, the study authors found that the proportion of patients who dropped out of care was “low,” at 5.1% for the 78 patients transferred directly to adult care and 1.3% for the 76 participants transferred to the adolescent JIA clinic.
In comparison, the drop-out rate 1 year before implementation of the pathway was 35% for people moving into adult care, say the researchers in Pediatric Rheumatology.
Walter and team also found that participants scored highly on satisfaction and self-efficacy questionnaire scores after the transition process, “suggesting confidence of all [young people] in this study to have achieved sufficient self-management skills and underlining the efficacy of the clinical transition pathway.”
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