Background: The majority of children with chronic neurodevelopmental disabilities are surviving to adulthood. Our goal was to assess how prepared and comfortable adult neurologists are in treating young adults with childhood onset chronic neurological conditions and evaluate the difficulty pediatric neurologists experience when transferring these patients to adult care.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using two postal surveys of all pediatric and adult neurologists in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Results: The response rate was 51.5%, with 119 neurologists completing the survey. Half of neurologists agreed that adult neurologists may not have adequate training in childhood onset disorders to prepare them to manage the disorders in adulthood, and 60% of pediatric neurologists reported having difficulty finding an adult provider for their patients. Adult neurologists were least comfortable treating patients with autism, chromosomal or metabolic disorders, and cognitive or behavioral disorders.
Conclusion: Almost half of those surveyed believed that adult neurologists are not adequately trained to care for this growing patient population. Improving treatment comfort and knowledge among adult neurologists in childhood onset chronic neurological conditions may smooth the transition of these young adults from pediatric to adult care.