Objectives: To gain insight into the transitional needs of adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and to examine how these needs may be addressed within a structured programme of transitional care.
Methods: A qualitative study using focused group discussions was performed. Groups comprised (i) adolescents with JIA aged 12-18 yr, (ii) young adults with JIA aged 19-30 yr, (iii) parents of adolescents with JIA, and (iv) parents of young adults with JIA.
Results: Transitional needs included aspects of participants' physical, social, psychological and vocational lives. Participants (n = 55) called for developmentally appropriate care based upon shared decision-making, continuity of health professionals, and wider access to information and community services. Suggestions for improved care included individualized assessment of patient's holistic needs and increased transfer preparation.
Conclusions: These results provide a useful guide to transitional care and suggest an approach that is adolescent-focused and evidence-based.