Transition of pediatric liver transplant recipients to adult care: Patient and parent perspectives


Emily M. Fredericks, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Health System, 1924 Taubman Center, SPC 5318, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5318, USA
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Fredericks EM, Dore-Stites D, Lopez MJ, Well A, Shieck V, Freed GL, Eder SJ, Magee JC. Transition of pediatric liver transplant recipients to adult care: Patient and parent perspectives.
Pediatr Transplantation 2011: 15: 414–424. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  The need to prepare pediatric transplant recipients for the transfer to adult-centered transplant care has received increased attention. This study aimed to determine adolescent and young adult LTR and parent perceptions and attitudes about the transition process. LTR and their parents completed a survey assessing level of prior thought and interest in learning about transferring care, knowledge of the transition process, perceived importance of self-management skills, concerns about moving to the adult clinic, and responsibility for health management tasks. Responses were analyzed by age, gender, and time since transplantation. Participants included 46 LTR (mean age = 16.6 yr; range 12–21), and 31 parents. Recipients and parents reported moderate concern about transition, with leaving pediatric providers being a primary worry. LTR ≥16 yr reported greater health care responsibility and increased thought, interest, and knowledge about transition. There were significant differences between parent and LTR perceptions of health care responsibility, indicating that LTR perceive having more independence than what their parents report. Overall, results suggest that adolescent and young adult LTR and their parents perceive the importance of transitional care, but demonstrate poor knowledge of the process. There remains a need for improved transition planning for both adolescents and parents.