Adolescents with chronic disease. Transition to adult health care

Arthritis Care Res. 1991 Dec;4(4):174-80. doi: 10.1002/art.1790040407.


Older adolescents are in the midst of many life changes related to physical and emotional development, education and career choices, family and peer relationships. The presence of a chronic disease adds an additional burden. At this stage of development, transfer of care to an adult facility becomes a major challenge for the adolescent, parents, and pediatric and adult care providers. This article describes an interdisciplinary transition program from pediatric to adult health care for older adolescents with rheumatic diseases. Care is transferred to an internist-rheumatologist who collaborates closely with the pediatric team. Scope of the program includes pretransitional assessments and interventions, including education, counseling, and referral around career, postsecondary education, sexuality, and other transitional issues. Benefits of and barriers to a structured transition program are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rheumatic Diseases / therapy*
  • Rheumatology*