Helping Kids with Chronic Diseases Move to Adult Care

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  • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

ORLANDO — A formal program at one Wisconsin hospital helped teens with chronic rheumatologic disorders transition to adult care, researchers reported here.

To date, 120 participants, ages 16 and up, have been enrolled in the “Got Transition” program, which included a self-assessment questionnaire to determine the patients understanding of the illness, personalized education on diagnosis, treatment, and medication, and a free app containing all medical information, according to Sarah Thomson, RN, of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

“We try to hang onto the children through college, or even until they get a job,” Thomson told MedPage Today at her poster presentation at Rheumatology Nurses Society annual meeting. “But eventually, they need to go to an adult practitioner.”

Age 16 is when these children are better able to understand and manage their health issues, she added. “Up until they are teenagers, parents have been responsible for making sure children take their medicine, and go to the doctor, and things like that,” Thomson said. “We are trying to transition them to the point where they are doing these things themselves — knowing when to take their medicine and making doctor’s appointment.”

About 35% of the enrollees have juvenile idiopathic…

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