Outcomes of Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition Interventions: An Updated Systematic Review

J Pediatr Nurs. 2020 Mar-Apr;51:92-107. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2020.01.002. Epub 2020 Jan 22.


Problem: A previous systematic review found that health care transition (HCT) interventions result in positive outcomes related to population health, patient experience of care, and utilization. Since its publication, new national statistics, updated professional guidance, and a growing body of published literature on HCT have prompted the need for an updated systematic review that aims to examine outcomes of the latest pediatric-to-adult HCT interventions.

Eligibility criteria: Eligible studies were published in English between May 2016 and December 2018, described HCT interventions for youth moving from pediatric to adult outpatient health care, quantitative in design, and peer-reviewed.

Sample: Nineteen articles from a literature search of CINAHL, OVID Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science were included in this review.

Results: All included studies examined youth with special health care needs. Most of the positive outcomes identified were related to population health, followed by improvements in utilization. All studies mentioned transfer assistance, most described transition planning supports, and almost half reported on integration into adult care.

Conclusions: This review strengthens the evidence that a structured HCT process for youth with special health care needs can show improvements in adherence to care, disease-specific measures, quality of life, self-care skills, satisfaction with care, health care utilization, and HCT process of care.

Implications: Future research studies should utilize interventions that incorporate all HCT components (planning, transfer, and integration) and assess provider experience of care as well as cost of care.

Keywords: Adolescent; Patient experience; Population health; Transition to adult care; Utilization; Young adult.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Transfer
  • Population Health
  • Quality of Life
  • Transition to Adult Care*