Significant numbers of young adults with chronic health conditions fail to transition.
The aim of the study was to evaluate how ready transitioned urologic patients were for that process. Owing to the cognitive impairments frequently seen with spina bifida (SB), it is hypothesized that these individuals will be less prepared to transition their medical care to adult providers compared with their healthy counterparts.
Participants included consecutive patients in the transitional SB clinic at the study institution and controls (college students without obvious physical disability or interest in healthcare-related fields aged 18-25 years). Both groups were administered the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire (TRAQ) over a nine-month period. Five TRAQ domains assess 20 skills necessary to transition. Likert scale responses range from 1 "no, I do not know how" to 5 "yes, I always do this when I need to" (which the authors considered appropriate for transitioned patients). Demographics and the number of daily medications taken were collected. Patients and healthy controls were compared using (1) total and domain TRAQ scores, (2) the proportion of non-transitioned skills ("1"), and (3) fully transitioned skills ("5"). Non-parametric statistics were used.
Forty-three unique SB patients (30.8% shunted, 46.5% female) and 100 controls were enrolled. Patients with SB were older than controls (21 vs 20 years, p < 0.001). There was no gender difference between groups (p = 0.33). Transitioned patients and college students were fully transitioned only in the "Talking with Providers" domain (Figure). College students performed significantly better than patients in the domains of "Appointment Keeping" (p = 0.04) and "Tracking Health Issues" (p = 0.02). Transitioned patients were less likely to be interested in learning how to perform skills in the domains of "Appointment Keeping" and "Tracking Health Issues" (p < 0.001 for both domains).
The transition readiness of young adults with SB compared to healthy controls and other youths with chronic health conditions is described. The limitations include the small sample size, potentially limiting generalizability, and cross-sectional nature.
"Transitioned" patients with SB had lower TRAQ scores in some domains compared to healthy college students, who themselves had scores indicating that they were not fully ready for transition. Increased attention to transition readiness in people with SB is necessary, as even healthy young adults struggle with these tasks and are poorly prepared for transition.
Journal of pediatric urology. 2019 Apr 27 [Epub ahead of print]
J D Roth, K M Szymanski, E J Ferguson, M P Cain, R Misseri
Division of Pediatric Urology, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, Suite 4230, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA. Electronic address: ., Division of Pediatric Urology, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, Suite 4230, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA., Department of Urology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 535 North Barnhill Drive, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA.