Transition of children with inflammatory bowel disease: big task, little evidence

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Aug 14;15(30):3744-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.3744.


Children with chronic long-term disorders need to move to the adult practice at some point in their life. Establishing a smooth and efficient transition process is a complicated task. Transition of medical care to adult practice is defined as the purposeful planned movement of adolescents and young adults with chronic physical and medical conditions from child-centered to adult-oriented health care systems. This step is of the utmost importance for several reasons. There is an obvious deficiency of research in this area especially when it comes to pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There is a considerable difference in individual practice among different centers. Also, age of transition varies among different countries and sometimes, even within the same country, transition age may vary among different provinces and districts! Interestingly, local politics and many factors other than children's welfare often play a role in deciding the age that older children move to adult practice at. This review discusses transition of children with IBD in view of the available evidence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / psychology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / therapy