Objective: The AAP, AFP, and ACP have authored statements and recommendations to clinicians about the importance of the transition from pediatric to adult care. The Got Transition program provides a framework and resources based on AAP, AFP and ACP recommendations to promote skill attainment in self-care. Engaging adolescents along the transition journey has proven challenging. Use of smartphones, text messaging, and social media are prevalent among teenagers, offering a unique opportunity to engage teenagers in their preferred channel to provide tools and resources to help them successfully transition to adult focused care.
Methods: A multidisciplinary team of clinicians, quality improvement facilitators, and human-centered designers at the University of Vermont (UVM) Children's Hospital designed tools for teens with chronic conditions that support the Got Transition recommendations. Using a co-creative design process, we created a novel tool to increase engagement among teenagers. We conducted a pilot study of 13 teenagers with a chronic medical condition using a text messaging platform (chatbot) with scripted interactions to increase engagement and deliver educational content according to Got Transition.
Results: Mean engagement was 97% during the study period. Qualitative feedback from study participants suggests our chatbot should be extended and shows promise to help teenagers attain self-care skills on the transition journey.
Conclusions: A scripted text messaging platform is feasible and appears to be well-received by patients and caregivers. Furthermore, our approach emphasizes the need to engage teenagers through multiple platforms to effectively serve as "coaches" during the transition to adult care.
Keywords: Healthcare transition; Pilot study; Quality improvement; Text messaging.
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