Transition in endocrinology: the challenge of maintaining continuity
Correspondence: Jennifer Downing, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, 5th Floor, Jean McFarlane Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. Tel.: 0161 306 7668. E-mail: Jennifer.email@example.com.
Transition from child to adult status is a crucial stage in young people's lives. It is important that young people continue to receive appropriate endocrine care throughout and following transfer from paediatric to adult services. This study examined indicators of patient loss to follow-up at initial transfer from paediatric care to identify implications for transitional care practice and research.
A retrospective analysis of patient data following transfer from paediatric services to a young person's transition clinic was conducted. Attendance data from 103 patients transferred to the Young Person's Clinic were analysed to determine the factors affecting nonattendance 1-year post-transfer.
We found that overall one quarter of patients did not attend the young person's clinic in the first year after transfer. Those with poor attendance prior to transfer were likely to be poor attenders post-transfer. Further, those without an appointment scheduled in the first 6 months of their final paediatric transfer appointment were less likely to attend in the first year.
Young people are at risk of losing contact during the transfer from paediatric to the young person's clinic. Measures that promote continuity of contact could reduce the risk of long-term disengagement with care. Further development and research is required to identify the best ways to help young people with endocrine conditions in the transition from child to adult status.