Adolescents with arthritis need more information when transitioning to adult care

January 7, 2009

Helping adolescents with arthritis develop the skills and secure resources to assure that their health care needs are met as they transition to adulthood is an important issue in the U.S. In general, the frequency of which young people with special health care needs receive transition services is low and, to date, no studies have examined this frequency.

A new study examined the extent to which adolescents with arthritis receive transition services and compared these rates to youth with other special care health needs. The study was published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research (www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/77005015/home).

Led by Peter Scal of the University of Minnesota, researchers used information from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs to identify adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had arthritis and to assess responses to questions about the transition to adulthood and adult-oriented health care.

The results showed that nearly three-quarters of adolescents with arthritis were encouraged to take responsibility for their health care needs and about half discussed how their needs might change when they became an adult. Only one in five, however, received counseling about the need to transfer to adult-oriented physicians and how to obtain health insurance as an adult. These results were similar to young people with special health care needs nationally, but lag behind those with diabetes.

"Health care transition is a complex set of tasks that are embedded within a complex developmental period and a complex heath care system," the authors note. "It is not surprising, then, than the development and evaluation of services to facilitate health care transition has been slow." However, a systematic approach to this problem can show results.

In the UK, for example, the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology has developed a comprehensive health care transition program for youth with arthritis that appears to have a positive impact.

In the U.S., there seems to be much room for improvement is assisting adolescents with arthritis in achieving a successful health care transition into adulthood. "More research is needed to understand youth's perspectives regarding their health care transition needs that should include items related specifically to health care transition, as well as how health care transition needs intersect with social, educational, and vocational concerns," the authors conclude.

Article: "Preparing for Adulthood: Health Care Transition Counseling for Youth with Arthritis," Peter Scal, Keith Horvath, Ann Garwick, Arthritis & Rheumatism (Arthritis Care & Research), January 2009; 61:1; pp. 52-57.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Indian Health Service sets standards for patient wait times

Related Stories

Indian Health Service sets standards for patient wait times

September 15, 2017
The Indian Health Service has set standards for patient wait times more than a year after being criticized by a government watchdog for doing a poor job tracking them.

Suicide among veterans highest in western US, rural areas (Update)

September 15, 2017
Suicide among military veterans is especially high in the western U.S. and rural areas, according to new government data that show wide state-by-state disparities and suggest social isolation, gun ownership and access to ...

Study uncovers markers for severe form of multiple sclerosis

September 18, 2017
Scientists have uncovered two closely related cytokines—molecules involved in cell communication and movement—that may explain why some people develop progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), the most severe form of the disease. ...

How do wait times for transgender medical care affect those awaiting treatment?

August 31, 2017
A new study by University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work undergraduate student Beck Paterson looks at the experience of transgender individuals awaiting medical care in the transition process, where some individuals have ...

Having a social group will improve your health

September 6, 2017
It's well established that people who feel socially isolated, or as though they don't belong, have worse mental health than those who feel socially connected. But in a study recently published in the Australian & New Zealand ...

Publishing national chemotherapy data has helped NHS hospitals improve treatment

August 31, 2017
It's often research into new drugs that makes headlines. But examining routine data can also help doctors continually improve how they use treatments already available.

Recommended for you

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections

September 22, 2017
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause a variety of illnesses that range from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome and the flesh-eating disease formally known ...

Ecosystem approach makes urinary tract infection more treatable

September 22, 2017
The biological term 'ecosystem' is not usually associated with urinary tract infections, but this should change according to Wageningen scientists.

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?

September 22, 2017
Antibiotic resistance continues to grow around the world, with sometimes disastrous results. Some strains of bacteria no longer respond to any currently available antibiotic, making death by infections that were once easily ...

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

September 21, 2017
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the ...

Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

September 21, 2017
A highly drug resistant malaria 'superbug' from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine—Vietnam's national first-line malaria treatment, ...

Individualized diets for irritable bowel syndrome better than placebo

September 21, 2017
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome who follow individualized diets based on food sensitivity testing experience fewer symptoms, say Yale researchers. Their study is among the first to provide scientific evidence for this ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.