About Chronic Illness Transition

About 90-95% of youth with chronic illnesses are surviving into adulthood, and many of these patients have increased hospitalizations, poorer outcomes and even increased mortality after transitioning to adult care. Structured programs can prepare youth for their future in school and work, social and community integration and adult healthcare. Chronic illness transitioning is the planned and purposeful movement of adolescents and young adults from child-centered to adult-centered care.

Youth Experience Poor Outcomes

All youth face challenges as they grow up, including:

  • Increased levels of independence
  • Social pressures regarding high-risk behaviors
  • Financially

People with chronic illnesses face greater challenges due to their medical needs, such as having to:

  • Learn to manage their condition independently
  • Learn to navigate the healthcare system
  • Learn to balance their medical condition with school or work; adult life skills; community integration; and their social and emotional well-being
  • Deal with the change in culture between pediatric and adult-centered care

Pediatric care provides family-centered, comprehensive services, generally in one location, and allows parents to control decisions. Adult care, on the other hand, provides individual, disease centered-care, and leaves the responsibility for multidisciplinary management to patients. Patients are independent in medical decision making. The difference in the two environments can create substantial challenges.