Online first

Acta Reumatológica Portuguesa - Online First: 2019-11-15
Letter

Transition in a Paediatric Rheumatology Unit - experience from a tertiary unit

Martins P, Barreira S, Melo AT, Campanilho-Marques R, Costa-Reis P, Fonseca JE, Oliveira-Ramos F

Abstract

The transition from paediatric to adult health care has been recognised as a priority in recent years. Health care transition (HCT) is defined as the process of moving from a paediatric to an adult model of health care with or without a transfer of follow up to a different clinician. In our centre, the transition begins around 11 years, when the patient education process starts and at the same time enable adolescents and young adults (AYA) to acquire knowledge to manage their disease. By the age of 18 the transfer to adult care is made. This study aims to evaluate the transition process and the transfer from paediatric to adult rheumatology care at our centre. We included 126 patients, 78 (61%) were female, with a mean age of 23.1±3.2 years. 104 patients (83%) were transferred to a young adult clinic. In our centre, the transition of care was associated with a high degree of satisfaction, with just a 10% decrease in patient satisfaction between paediatric and adult care. We had low drop out rate, which was associated with longer disease duration. Few patients had worsening of disease activity. Our data reinforce that education and training in transitional care and having a transition program are important to optimize health outcomes in AYA with chronic diseases.