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TRANSITION SERVICES

Prof. Joan-Carles Surís

Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland

Nowadays the vast majority of children and adolescents affected by a chronic condition survive well into adulthood. For this reason, in the past decades the concepts of transfer and transition from pediatric to adult care have received a lot of attention. In this line, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) states that “The goals of an organized, coordinated transition to adult health care for young people with chronic conditions are to optimize health and to facilitate each young person’s attaining his or her maximum potential”.

Transition is not only a high–risk period associated with increases in hospital admissions and death, but also for patients being lost to follow-up. There is evidence indicating that morbidity and mortality increase after moving from pediatric to adult care. For these reasons, continuity of care is the mechanism central to current concerns about a smooth transition, even though transitional care should have a holistic approach addressing both clinical and psychosocial and educational/vocational issues.

The main objective of this presentation is to describe what would be the key elements for a successful transition that assure continuity of care and what should be the additional elements that should be included to prepare these youths not only to successfully manage their disease, but also their life as an adult.