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abstracts & posters

An intensive transition navigator intervention improves transition readiness to adult care in youth with sickle cell disease

key information

source: American Society of Hematology

year: 2017

authors: Deepa Manwani, Lynn Davidson, Ellen Silver, Rosy Chhabra, Caterina Minniti, Deepa Rastogi, Maya Doyle, Kerry A Morrone, Ruth Stein, Suzette Oyeku, and Laurie Bauman


Introduction: Transition to adult care is a high-risk period with increased health care utilization and death in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients (Brousseau 2010, Hemker BG 2011, Paulukonis ST 2016), as in other chronic illnesses. Lack of transition planning may result in poor quality of care; low patient satisfaction; and avoidable morbidity, ED visits, hospitalizations and mortality. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and American College of Physicians (ACP) issued joint recommendations describing steps to assure effective transition, however, few pediatric hematology practices follow these recommendations. Use of a dedicated transition navigator (TN) from pediatric to adult care has been successful in other chronic illnesses such as congenital heart disease and diabetes. (Mackie 2016) We report on changes in transition readiness following an intensive TN intervention delivered to youth 17-20 years old over a period of 6-12 months at an urban academic medical center.

Methods: We developed and implemented a protocolized intervention for young adults with SCD, aged 17-20 years, delivered by a trained TN with 5 goals: (1) an individualized transition plan; (2) a portable medical summary (Transition Passport); (3) improve patient knowledge and skills for self-management of SCD to address quality of care, adherence, and proper use of the ED; (4) address family members’ roles in transition; and (5) facilitate transfer to an adult provider. Youth completed self-administered surveys at enrollment and program completion including the 20-item Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire (TRAQ) and measures of SCD knowledge, confidence in disease management, and use of an appropriate pain management plan. Pre/post scores were compared using paired t-tests. Satisfaction with the TN intervention was assessed at program completion.

Conclusion: A TN program is acceptable to youth with SCD and feasible to implement at an urban academic medical center. Our data demonstrate that participation in the TN program is associated with improved transition readiness and disease knowledge for youth with SCD. Further study is needed to determine if this intervention improves transfer to adult care and reduces morbidity.

organization: Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

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