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J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2014;7(1):3-15. doi: 10.3233/PRM-140277.

The health care transition research consortium health care transition model: a framework for research and practice.

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USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


The body of health care transition (HCT) research is in the early stages of development. One of the major limitations of this developing field of research is the lack of theoretically-directed studies. This research limitation has hindered understanding of the variables contributing to successful HCT. The inadequate understanding of HCT is due largely to the absence of an adequate conceptual model that addresses the complexity and the relationships amongst variables that influence HCT outcomes among adolescents and emerging adults with special health care needs (AEA-SHCN). Existing conceptual models do not sufficiently address the significant interrelationships amongst variables to explain, predict and/or control AEA-SHCN's biopsychosocial HCT outcomes. This article provides a description of a health care transition theoretical model developed by the international and interdisciplinary Health Care Transition Research Consortium (HCTRC) that can be applied for testing in research and serve as a framework for clinical practice and policymaking. The HCTRC model is composed of four domains that are considered integral to the HCT phenomenon: Individual, Family/Social Support, Environment, and the Health Care System. The HCTRC model specifies the variables, processes, and potential mediators and moderators that affect the HCT outcomes.


Health care transition; adolescents and emerging adults with special health care needs; health care transition model; theoretical framework

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