Attitudes of rheumatology practitioners toward transition and transfer from pediatric to adult healthcare

Rheumatol Int. 2012 Dec;32(12):3887-96. doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-2273-4. Epub 2011 Dec 23.


We explored the attitudes of rheumatology practitioners toward the transition and transfer of adolescents with a rheumatic disorder from pediatric to adult healthcare. Rheumatology practitioners attending the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) Congress in 2010 were asked to complete the Questionnaire about Attitudes of Rheumatology Practitioners Toward Transfer and Transition (QUARTT), an instrument that was specifically devised for this study. Overall, 138 healthcare professionals participated (response rate, 55.2%). Participants believed that when patients with an active rheumatic disorder reach adulthood, they should receive medical follow-up from an adult rheumatologist (87%). Only 19% thought that patients should remain under the surveillance of a pediatric rheumatologist. Several initiating factors for transfer were marked as important: readiness of the patient according to the caregiver (62%), age (61%), and psychosocial maturity (49%). A transfer meeting with the patient (76%), a referral letter (73%), and a medical transfer file (64%) were the most preferred transfer communication methods. Joint outpatient clinics, phone calls, and transfer meetings without the patient were considered to be less useful. Pediatric (94%) or adult (83%) rheumatologists, parents (81%), and nurse specialists (74%) were stated as the most important active participants in the transition process. Responders favored essential transition components because young people should be assisted on how to become independent (96%), how to deal with fatigue (91%), and how to establish medication adherence (90%). In conclusion, this study emphasized the importance of transfer to specialized rheumatology care of adolescents with an active rheumatic disease and highlighted transfer initiators and transfer communication tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rheumatology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transition to Adult Care*