Transition to adulthood and adult health care for patients with sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis: Current practices and research priorities
Introduction: A growing population of adults living with severe, chronic childhood-onset
health conditions has created a need for specialized health care delivered by providers who have expertise both in adult medicine and in those conditions. Optimal care of these patients requires systematic approaches to healthcare transition (HCT). Guidelines for HCT exist, but gaps in care occur, and there are limited data on outcomes of HCT processes.
Methods: The Single Disease Workgroup of the Lifespan Domain Task Force of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Clinical and Translational Science Award programs convened a group to review the current state of HCT and to identify gaps in research and practice. Using cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease as models, key themes were developed. A literature search identified general and disease-specific articles. We summarized key findings.
Results: We identified literature characterizing patient, parent and healthcare
provider perspectives, recommendations for transition care, and barriers to effective
Conclusions: With increased survival of patients with severe childhood onset
diseases, ongoing study of effective transition practices is essential as survival increases for severe childhood onset diseases. We propose pragmatic methods to enhance transition research to improve health and key outcomes.