Transition to adult care for children with chronic neurological disorders

Authors

  • Peter Camfield MD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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  • Carol Camfield MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    • IWK Health Centre, PO Box 9700, 5850 University Ave, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3K 6R8
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Abstract

Chronic neurological disorders in children have significant effects on adult medical and social function. Transition and then formal transfer of care from pediatric to adult services is a complex process, although there are virtually no objective data to inform physicians about the most effective approach. Some neurological disorders that start in children are a danger to society if poorly treated in adulthood, some disorders that were previously lethal in childhood now permit survival well into adulthood, and others are static in childhood but progressive in adulthood. Some disorders remit or are cured in childhood but continue to have serious comorbidity in adulthood, whereas others are similar and persistent in children and adults. Maturity, provision of information, and cognitive problems are confounders. We discuss several models of transition/transfer but prefer a joint pediatric/adult transition clinic. We make a series of suggestions about how to improve the transition/transfer process with the hope of better medical and social adult outcome for children with neurological disorders. ANN NEUROL 2011

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