Transition from paediatric to adult services: experiences of HIV-positive adolescents

AIDS Care. 2004 Apr;16(3):305-14. doi: 10.1080/09540120410001665312.


In this small, preliminary study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven adolescents to explore their experiences of transition between paediatric and adult HIV care services. In general, the transition process established between the two health care units was considered by most participants to be beneficial, particularly the introduction of adult service providers early on in the transition preparation period. Four of the participants found the transition 'easy', whereas three had concerns that possibly delayed their transition, including coordination of haemophiliac and HIV care and fear of an adult environment. Individuals who had experienced little input into their care decisions during their paediatric appointments were more positive and ready for transition than those who had been more involved. Confidence and attachment with paediatric staff generally involved those who had been more involved in their care decision making. On transition, some of the participants were not prepared for the predominantly gay male population and were disappointed in not seeing other adolescents. The benefits of transition included the sense of independence, the shift in responsibility to the individual and general satisfaction in being treated as an adult. For those with strong paediatric staff rapport, a sense of loss in these relationships was expressed. Participants were forthcoming in suggesting recommendations for future transitions that are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards*
  • Adult
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Patient Transfer
  • Professional-Patient Relations