Objective: Patients gradually assume responsibility for self-management. This study sought to determine whether adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have developed key skills of self-management prior to the age at which many transfer to adult care.
Patients and methods: Adolescents aged 16 to 18 years old in the Children's Hospital Boston IBD database (94 total) received a mailed survey assessing knowledge and confidence of their own health information and behaviors.
Results: Respondents (43%) could name medication and dose with confidence but had very poor knowledge of important side effects. Most patients deferred responsibility mostly or completely to parents for scheduling appointments (85%), requesting refills (75%), or contacting provider between visits (74%).
Conclusions: Older adolescents with IBD have good recall of medications but not of side effects. Parents remain responsible for the majority of tasks related to clinic visits and the acquisition of medications.