A cross-sectional survey of Saudi gastroenterologists: Transition strategies for adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease

Elaf Al-Jahdali, Mahmoud Mosli, Omar Saadah
Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology: Official Journal of the Saudi Gastroenterology Association 2017, 23 (4): 233-237

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The transition of adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from pediatric to adult care requires a well-structured standardized protocol to ensure the delivery of optimal healthcare and decrease the risk of nonadherence, hospitalizations, and complications. The aims of this survey are to evaluate current IBD transition practices adopted by gastroenterology services across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to identify the major challenges standing in the way of implementing effective transition strategies from the perspectives of pediatric and adult gastroenterologists.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: An online survey was distributed to KSA pediatric and adult gastroenterologists through the Kingdom's national gastroenterology association. The questionnaire included closed-ended questions regarding existing institutional transition strategies and perspectives regarding the impact of different factors on their ability to effectively transition adolescents from pediatric to adult care.

RESULTS: A total of 80 adult and pediatric gastroenterologists responded to the survey invitation. Most of the participating gastroenterologists worked at a tertiary care center (82.5%). The majority of gastroenterologist (73.8%) reported that they do not follow a defined protocol for transitioning in their current practices. However, a structured transition program was noted to be "very important" by 78.8% of gastroenterologists. The most favored method of transitioning was joint outpatient clinic attended by patient, caregiver, pediatric gastroenterologist, and adult gastroenterologist (35.9%) and the most commonly reported barrier to transitioning was "lack of proper preparation" for transitioning (53.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: Although acknowledged by the majority of participants as being "very important," no standardized IBD transition protocol is followed in the majority of practices across KSA. A well-structured national protocol for transitioning adolescents with IBD is needed.

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