The genesis of systems of care for transition to adulthood services: emerging models in primary and subspecialty care

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2018 Apr;30(2):303-310. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000608.


Purpose of review: Transitioning adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions can be complex. Expert recommendations support a transition process that starts in early adolescence, provides continuous guidance and support and allows for care opportunities with patients and caregivers, with the patient alone and between paediatric and adult providers. As most of the guidance is focused on individual patients, providers and clinical programmes, much less is known about how health systems as a whole might support effective transitions of care.

Recent findings: Many intervention studies focus on the preparation necessary to successfully transition adolescents, young adults and their families to adult care. Although randomized controlled trials of transition interventions are few and standards of care not yet established, promising models are being developed and tested. This review will describe the development and implementation of emerging models of transitional care in primary and subspecialty care, paying special attention to evaluation outcomes that can inform model selection.

Summary: The emerging models described here highlight the importance of and guidance for invested clinicians and health systems to create effective methods for successful transition. Additional research using rigorous methodology is necessary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Specialization
  • Transition to Adult Care / organization & administration*
  • Young Adult