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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2004 Aug;15(3):443-61.

Providers' perspectives and beliefs regarding transition to adult care for adolescents with sickle cell disease.

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  • 1Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.


Until recently, few children with chronic illnesses such as sickle cell disease (SCD) lived past late adolescence. Substantial reductions in mortality mean a growing number of adolescents with SCD reach adulthood. Consensus among researchers and health care providers (HCP) from multiple disciplines is that critical attention to and more empirical research on the transition from pediatric to adult care is needed. We address the following questions: (1) How do pediatric and adult providers demonstrate involvement in transition? (2) What is expected of adolescents when they move to adult care? and (3) Do providers think there is a need for a systematic transition program? A cross-sectional, multi-format survey research study utilizing open-ended and forced-choice questions was conducted to compare responses between pediatric and adult providers from multiple disciplines. Data were collected from 227 HCP in three waves. Significant bivariate results (p < 0.05) reflected differing opinions regarding transition expectations and program need, especially among female providers, those practicing in urban areas, and providers who treat both adolescent and adult clients in comparison with their counterparts. Discussion includes implications for program development, social service and public health practice, and future research.

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