Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: transition between diabetes services

J Clin Nurs. 2006 Jun;15(6):761-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01347.x.


Aim: The research aimed to develop a sustainable and coordinated approach to facilitating the transition between diabetes services for adolescents. The objectives were to: (1) involve key diabetes health delivery stakeholders in expressing their concerns and issues about current service delivery and ways to improve same, and (2) reveal from the perspective of the adolescents living with Type 1 Diabetes their experiences surrounding the process of transition.

Background: This paper presents research that sought to identify the major concerns and issues that stakeholders had about transition and to reveal the experience of transition for the adolescent with Type 1 Diabetes. Key representatives from seven public diabetes services in Adelaide, South Australia worked collaboratively to answer the objectives of this inquiry. Approach. Interview data were generated and analysed using a response focus framework provided by fourth generation evaluation research. In this study, the focus was on common concerns, claims and issues raised by health care professionals (n = 21) and adolescents (n = 10) aged between 15 and 18 years about transferring from children's to adult diabetes services.

Findings: Data revealed education and dietetic advice was reactive rather than proactive and that the paediatric model of care is philosophically and practically different to the adult model of diabetes care. Three phases of transition were identified: preparation, formal transition and evaluation. Our findings indicated that these stages of transition were not being fully implemented in health units.

Conclusion: The project findings have set the scene to establish a multidisciplinary working party to work collaboratively across agencies to develop effective transition pathways.

Relevance to clinical practice: The role of diabetes nurse educators and dietitians in South Australia is under-used throughout the transition process. Diabetes nurse educators are in an ideal position to prepare, coordinate and evaluate transitional processes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • South Australia