Outcome Evidence for Structured Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition Interventions: A Systematic Review

J Pediatr. 2017 Sep:188:263-269.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.05.066. Epub 2017 Jun 28.


Objective: To identify statistically significant positive outcomes in pediatric-to-adult transition studies using the triple aim framework of population health, consumer experience, and utilization and costs of care.

Study design: Studies published between January 1995 and April 2016 were identified using the CINAHL, Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases. Included studies evaluated pre-evaluation and postevaluation data, intervention and comparison groups, and randomized clinic trials. The methodological strength of each study was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool.

Results: Out of a total of 3844 articles, 43 met our inclusion criteria. Statistically significant positive outcomes were found in 28 studies, most often related to population health (20 studies), followed by consumer experience (8 studies), and service utilization (9 studies). Among studies with moderate to strong quality assessment ratings, the most common positive outcomes were adherence to care and utilization of ambulatory care in adult settings.

Conclusions: Structured transition interventions often resulted in positive outcomes. Future evaluations should consider aligning with professional transition guidance; incorporating detailed intervention descriptions about transition planning, transfer, and integration into adult care; and measuring the triple aims of population health, experience, and costs of care.

Keywords: adolescent; patient adherence; patient satisfaction; quality of health care; self-care; transition to adult care; utilization; young adult.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration
  • Adult
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Transition to Adult Care*