Transition from pediatric to adult care for sickle cell disease: results of a survey of pediatric providers

Am J Hematol. 2011 Jun;86(6):512-5. doi: 10.1002/ajh.22016.


As recently as the 1970s, children born with sickle cell disease (SCD) were unlikely to survive into adulthood. With advances in medical care, most patients now survive childhood and live into their forties or beyond [1,2]. A better transition from pediatric- to adult-focused care is therefore increasingly important [3]. Despite recent awareness of the importance of transition by the SCD community, little is known about existing transition programs. We conducted a survey of pediatric sickle cell clinics to describe current transition practices and identify areas for improvement. Survey topics included program demographics, transition logistics, assessment of patient transition readiness and independence, transition preparation, and program evaluation. Twenty-three clinics (77%) report having a transition program, although half have been in place for under 2 years. There is wide variation in specific transition practices. Most centers (97%) have an identified accepting adult provider, however, only 60% routinely transfer their patients to an adult hematologist specializing in SCD. Although there has been a recent effort to establish transition programs in pediatric sickle cell clinics, specific practices vary widely. As anticipated, lack of an accepting adult hematologist with an interest in SCD emerged as a common barrier to transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / psychology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy
  • Child
  • Data Collection*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Self Care