Objective: Establishing care with adult providers is essential for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) transitioning from pediatric care. Although research evaluating the transition from pediatric to adult care has been focused primarily on patients' perceptions, little is known about the adult providers' perspectives. We sought to ascertain adult providers' perspectives of caring for the medical and psychosocial needs of this patient population.
Methods: We developed and mailed a survey to 79 regional adult endocrinologists and 186 primary care physicians (PCPs) identified through 2 regional insurance plans. Questions addressed perceived aptitude in clinical aspects of diabetes management, importance and availability of diabetes team members, and opinions regarding recommended transition methods.
Results: The response rate was 43% for endocrinologists and 13% for PCPs. Endocrinologists reported higher aptitude in insulin management (P<.01). PCPs reported greater aptitude in screening and treating depression (P<0.01). Although endocrinologists and PCPs did not differ in their views of the importance of care by a comprehensive team, endocrinologists reported better access to diabetes educators and dieticians than PCPs (P<.01). Recommended transition methods were described as useful.
Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that endocrinologists are better prepared to assume diabetes care of emerging adults, whereas PCPs may be better prepared to screen and treat associated depression. Future studies are needed to determine if a medical home model with cooperative management improves care for emerging adults with T1D.