Voices not heard: a systematic review of adolescents' and emerging adults' perspectives of health care transition

Nurs Outlook. Sep-Oct 2013;61(5):311-36. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2013.01.008. Epub 2013 Jul 19.


Background: A better understanding of the needs of adolescents and emerging adults with special health care needs (AEA-SHCNs) is essential to provide health care transition services that represent best practices. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the research on health care transition for AEA-SHCNs from their perspectives.

Methods: A comprehensive literature review of research publications since 2005 was performed using the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and EBSCO databases. Thirty-five studies met the final review criteria.

Results: The process of transition from child to adult for AEA-SHCNs is complex. Individuals experiencing the transition desire to be a part of the process and want providers who will listen and be sensitive to their needs, which are often different from others receiving health care at the same facility.

Conclusions: More research that considers the voice of the AEA-SHCNs related to transition from pediatric to adult care is needed.

Keywords: Adolescents; Emerging adults; Review of literature; Special health care needs; Systematic review; Youth.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Humans
  • Transition to Adult Care*
  • Young Adult