Introduction: Transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to community or adult mental health services (AMHS) is a highly problematic health systems hurdle, especially for transition-aged youth. A planned and purposeful transition process is often non-existent or experienced negatively by youth and their caregivers. Stakeholders, including youth and their caregivers, have demanded interventions to support more effective transitions, such a transition navigator. The transition navigator model uses a navigator to facilitate complex transitions from acute care CAMHS to community or AMHS. However, despite the widespread implementation of this model, there has been no evaluation of the programme, hindering its scalability. This paper describes the study protocol of the Navigator Evaluation Advancing Transitions study that aims to collaborate with patients, caregivers and clinicians in the evaluation of the navigator model.
Methods and analysis: A pre and post mixed-method study will be conducted, using the Triple Aim Framework, to evaluate the navigator model. We will recruit participants from one large tertiary and two community hospitals in Toronto, Canada. For the quantitative portion of the study, we will recruit a sample of 45 youth (15 at each site), aged 16-18, and their caregivers at baseline (referral to navigator) (T1) and 6 months (T2). Youth and caregiver participants will complete a set of standardised measures to assess mental health, service utilisation, and satisfaction outcomes. For the qualitative portion of the study, semistructured interviews will be conducted at 6 months (T2) with youth, their caregivers and clinicians to better understand their experience and satisfaction with the model.
Ethics and dissemination: Research Ethics Board (REB) approval has been obtained from the lead research sites, the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. The results of the study will be reported in peer-reviewed publications, webinars and conferences and to all relevant stakeholders.
Keywords: child & adolescent psychiatry; mental health; quality in health care.
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