Objective: To assess European pediatric rheumatology providers' current clinical practices and resources used in the transition from child-centered to adult-oriented care.
Methods: European pediatric rheumatologists were invited to complete a 17-item anonymized e-survey assessing current transition practices, transition policy awareness, and needs in advance of the publication of EULAR/PReS recommendations on transition.
Results: The response rate was 121/276 (44%), including responses from 115 centers in 22 European Union countries. Although 32/121 (26%) responded that their centers did not offer transition services, the majority (99%) agreed that a formalized process in transitioning patients to adult care is necessary. A minority (<30%) of respondents stated that they have a written transition policy although 46% have an informal transition process. Designated staff to support transitional care were available in a minority of centers: nurse (35%), physiotherapist (15%), psychologist (15%), social worker (8%), and occupational therapist (2%). The existence of a designated team member to coordinate transition was acknowledged in many centers (64% of respondents) although just 36% use a checklist for young people as part of individualized transitional care.
Conclusion: This survey of European pediatric rheumatology providers regarding transitional care practices demonstrates agreement that transitional care is important, and wide variation in current provision of transition services exists.
Keywords: Adolescents; Chronic disease; Rheumatic diseases; Survey method; Transitional care; Young adults.