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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • service transition;
  • adolescents and families

Abstract

Objective:

This study aims to conduct qualitative research on the perspectives of service providers regarding the transition process from pediatric to adult specialized eating disorder tertiary care programs.

Method:

Two focus groups with a diverse group of clinicians in pediatric and adult eating disorder programs and five qualitative interviews with clinicians in the community were conducted.

Results:

Three themes were identified as challenges during the transition process: (1) illness related factors (ambivalence and denial); (2) the interruption of normative adolescent developmental processes by the illness; and, (3) the impact of decreased parental involvement in the adult compared to pediatric eating disorder programs.

Discussion:

These themes were compared with empirical evidence on other chronic mental or physical health concerns for the purpose of identifying ways to facilitate a more successful service transition for young adults with anorexia nervosa. Future research and clinical implications are delineated. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012; 45:759–767)