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Nurs Outlook. 2013 Sep-Oct;61(5):311-36. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2013.01.008. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Voices not heard: a systematic review of adolescents' and emerging adults' perspectives of health care transition.

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University of Southern California University Center of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities, USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. Electronic address:



A better understanding of the needs of adolescents and emerging adults with special health care needs (AEA-SHCNs) is essential to provide health care transition services that represent best practices. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the research on health care transition for AEA-SHCNs from their perspectives.


A comprehensive literature review of research publications since 2005 was performed using the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and EBSCO databases. Thirty-five studies met the final review criteria.


The process of transition from child to adult for AEA-SHCNs is complex. Individuals experiencing the transition desire to be a part of the process and want providers who will listen and be sensitive to their needs, which are often different from others receiving health care at the same facility.


More research that considers the voice of the AEA-SHCNs related to transition from pediatric to adult care is needed.


Adolescents; Emerging adults; Review of literature; Special health care needs; Systematic review; Youth

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