Effective transition to an adult diabetes care provider is a significant component of care in adolescents with diabetes mellitus. During this period adolescents are at risk of dropping out of medical follow-up, an action which may interfere with their future physical and psychological well-being.
The purpose of this paper is to review the diabetes literature as it pertains to transition including the outcomes, methods and patients' perceptions of the transition period. The results of the studies examined demonstrate a decrease in diabetes care visits following transition and that improvement in clinic attendance may be achieved through: (1) implementing an educational transition program; (2) having a transition care coordinator; and (3) having a young adult transition clinic attended by both adult and pediatric physicians.
Despite the recognized importance of successful transition for adolescents with diabetes, studies on the subject remain sparse, highlighting the need for further research to determine both the magnitude of the problem as well as the impact of interventions to improve the processes of transition.
Primary care/clinical practice