Effectiveness of Health System Services and Programs for Youth to Adult Transitions in Mental Health Care: A Systematic Review of Academic Literature

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016 Mar;43(2):259-69. doi: 10.1007/s10488-015-0638-9.


Youth shifting to adult mental health services often report experiencing frustrations with accessing care that adequately replaces the youth services they had received. This systematic review assesses the peer reviewed evidence on services/programs aimed at addressing youth to adult transitions in mental health services. Findings suggest little data exists on the effectiveness of transition services/programs. While the available evidence supports meetings between youth and youth caseworkers prior to transitions occurring, it also verifies that this is not common practice. Other identified barriers to effective transitions were categorized as logistical (ineffective system communication), organizational (negative incentives), and related to clinical governance.

Keywords: Continuity of care; Program evaluation; Transition planning; Transition services; Transition to adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Adult
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Transition to Adult Care / organization & administration*
  • Young Adult