Twenty percent of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients present in the pediatric years, with recent reports suggesting a rising incidence in the pediatric age group. This highlights the need for both pediatric and adult gastroenterologists to better understand issues related to the process of transition from pediatric to adult care. Research from other disciplines outside of IBD provide evidence that the transition period can be associated with poorer health outcomes and that a structured transition program may improve patient compliance and disease control. Recent data from the IBD literature support a need for transition clinics. The ideal model of a transition program has not been established. Controlled trials are not available to measure the impact of a structured transition program on clinically relevant endpoints such as disease control and hospital admissions. As local resources and availability of staffing and funding are highly variable, we have summarized some practical guidelines for the adult and pediatric gastroenterologist that can be used as an aid to help adolescents through the transition process even without the support of an established transition clinic.
Copyright © 2010 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.