Transitional care for rheumatic conditions in Europe: current clinical practice and available resources

Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2017 Jun 9;15(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s12969-017-0179-8.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Rationing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Rheumatic Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Rheumatic Diseases* / therapy
  • Rheumatology / methods
  • Rheumatology / standards
  • Transition to Adult Care* / organization & administration
  • Transition to Adult Care* / standards
  • Young Adult