Transition readiness skills acquisition in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease: findings from integrating assessment into clinical practice

Wendy N Gray, Erin Holbrook, Pamela J Morgan, Shehzad A Saeed, Lee A Denson, Kevin A Hommel
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2015, 21 (5): 1125-31

BACKGROUND: Almost 80% of adult gastroenterologists report inadequacies in the preparation of patients transferred from pediatrics. To improve transition to adult care, it is important to identify the specific deficits that patients are demonstrating before transfer. We present data from a clinic-wide assessment of transition readiness skill acquisition in adolescents/young adults with IBD.

METHODS: A total of 195 patients (age, 16-25 yr) with IBD completed the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire. Patient age, diagnosis, time since diagnosis, physician global assessment, and patient and parent disease management confidence ratings were extracted from the medical record. Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire scores were compared with a benchmark established by an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Transition Task Force.

RESULTS: Only 5.6% of older adolescents/young adults on the verge of transfer to adult care met our institutional benchmark (3.5% of adolescents, 7.3% of young adults). Patients reported mastery of 9.10 ± 4.68 out of 20 Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire items. Transition readiness was associated with older age (r = 0.27, P < 0.001) and female gender (F(1,192) = 13.81, P < 0.001) but not time since diagnosis, physician global assessment, or confidence ratings. Deficits in health care utilization/self-advocacy (e.g., understanding insurance, scheduling appointments/following up on referrals), and self-management (e.g., filling/reordering prescriptions) were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Most patients on the verge of transferring to adult care are not demonstrating transition readiness. Deficits observed represent modifiable behaviors. Using data-driven assessments to guide interventions to enhance transition readiness may minimize the retention of young adult patients in pediatrics and result in patients who are better prepared for adult care.

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