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Keywords:

  • Adolescence;
  • chronic disease in childhood;
  • independence;
  • psychosocial development;
  • sickle cell disease;
  • transition

PROBLEM: Factors that predict successful transition from pediatric to adult care for adolescents with sickle cell disease are not fully understood, making transfer decisions difficult.

METHODS: Seventy-four adolescents (14–21 years) participated in this descriptive correlational study to investigate the relationships of age, gender, knowledge about sickle cell disease, disease severity, and family relationships to independence.

FINDINGS: Knowledge, severity, and family relationships explained only 25% of the variance for independence in the final model; family relationships were inversely correlated.

CONCLUSIONS: Factors exerting stronger influences on independence remain unknown. Cultural factors may be important among this predominantly African American population.