Background: Transition is a difficult period for adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The non-linear development of the adolescent brain along with increasing insulin resistance, increasing autonomy and risk of psychopathology means that adolescents are vulnerable to poor mental and physical health and ensuing deterioration in metabolic control. It is also during this period of turmoil that adolescents often transfer from paediatric to adult services.
Objective and hypotheses: The aim of this study was to assess the levels of satisfaction with the current transition process among adolescents with type 1 diabetes in our hospital and to investigate how the process could be improved and reasons for disengagement post transition.
Method: We developed a questionnaire to assess the satisfaction of adolescents who had transitioned to adult services within the last 5 years which was distributed to both the adolescents and their parents. Participants were recruited either at outpatient appointments or by phone contact.
Results: A total of 22 patients were eligible for inclusion. Of these, 14 patients (63%) responded. Eight patients (57%) felt that they were ready at the time of transfer while six patients (42%) felt that the current system worked well. Five patients (35%) had previously attended paediatric clinic appointments on their own. Five patients (35%) would have preferred to have been more involved with the decision for transition. Nine patients (64%) admitted to having missed adult clinic appointments because they didnt want to go or couldnt make it due to college or work commitments. Freetext suggestions for improvements were completed by participants.
Conclusion: The results of this study highlight a need for improved communication between paediatric and adult Ted areas for improvement in the transition process for adolescents with chronic disease. This includes teams, jointly staffing young adult clinics, appropriate scheduling of young adult clinics during college breaks and encouraging participation and independence of adolescents during clinic visits.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology