Life expectancy for adolescents with SCD now extends well into adulthood. As a result, adolescents transfer to adult care. Little empirical evidence exists to show how transfer occurs and how well the current practices now work. The aim of this study was to obtain a database on the experience of adolescents/young adults with SCD that transfer to adult care. We assessed their treatment compliance, independence, and whether they receive uninterrupted care. Data were obtained through patient and provider interviews and patient record reviews. Results indicate patients leave pediatric care without adequate transfer preparation and readiness to transfer is not the major consideration in the decision to transfer, follow-up often ceases once the patients leave pediatric care, and patients who maintain follow-up appointments are more efficient in managing their illness (self-efficacy). The model for a structured transitioning process is provided with recommendations for nurse case managers to maintain follow-up.
Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA).