AAP calls for formal planning in HIV care transitions
(HealthDay)—Successful transitioning from pediatric to adult HIV care requires formal planning, according to a policy statement published online June 24 in Pediatrics.
Rana Chakraborty, M.D., and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric AIDS, discuss optimal health care for HIV-infected children surviving into adulthood, specifically plans for transitioning care from primary and/or subspecialty pediatric/adolescent/family medicine health care providers (medical home) to adult health care provider(s).
The authors note that early engagement and participation of the youth and his or her family with the pediatric medical home and adult health care teams in developing a formal plan is necessary for a successful transition. Additionally, the authors recommend that referring providers have a written policy for the transfer of HIV-infected youth to adult care, which will facilitate development of an individualized plan for each youth. This plan should be first introduced during early adolescence and can be altered as transition approaches. To define readiness of the youth for assuming responsibility for his or her own care, assessment of developmental milestones is important. Communication among all providers is necessary and should include personal contact as well as written summaries. Tracking of progress toward the transition is necessary and the outcomes should be documented and evaluated. To ensure uninterrupted health care coverage and access to medications, health care coverage of the youth should be regularly assessed.
"A well-planned transition of HIV-infected youth from pediatric, adolescent, or family medicine clinics, often from a medical home to adult health care, enables them to optimize their ability to assume adult roles and activities," the authors write.