Physicians as barriers to successful transitional care

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2002 Jan-Mar;14(1):3-7. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2002.14.1.3.


There has been a dramatic increase in the number of sufferers of chronic childhood diseases surviving into adulthood. Effective transition of these children from paediatric to adult medical services is a considerable challenge. A lack of integrated planning for this event can present barriers to successful transition. These barriers may be generated by the patient, his family or by political or logistical factors. However, physicians themselves can also become barriers in this process. Paediatricians may resist the transition process as they lack confidence in their adult colleagues. Emotional, academic, financial and cultural issues will also influence both child and adult physician's attitude to the hand-over of care. Increasingly poor understanding of their disease process by Paediatric trained doctors, makes transfer of care essential for adolescents. The move towards a culture of personal responsibility for health care is also crucial for the promotion of the maturing patient's independence. Development of adolescent services and closer links between the services could do much to enhance the transition experience of emerging adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Patient Transfer
  • Pediatrics
  • United Kingdom