Recent findings show that a structured protocol that includes a transition coordinator and a joint sessions provider is effective in maximizing compliance with follow-ups and decreasing diabetes-related anxiety while transitioning from pediatric to adult diabetes care.
Using a combined method in a prospective longitudinal study, Eileen A. Egan and colleagues assessed a collaborative process thought to bridge the current gap between pediatric and adult diabetes care.
Scientists reviewed the Winthrop Pediatric Diabetes Program database and managed to identify 29 patients aged between 18 and 28 years that were qualified to enroll in the study. The program to assist in the transition of care was coordinated thanks to joint appointments from both pediatric and adult health care providers. The participants completed surveys before and after the transition sessions so that diabetes-related distress could be evaluated using the Diabetes Distress Score (DDS), quality of life using the Diabetes Quality of Life Youth-Short Form (DQOLY-SF) and the Health Care Climate Questionnaire (HCCQ) to gain insights into the health care providers’ efforts to achieve patient independence and empowerment.
The researchers defined that adherence to follow-up would be the study’s primary outcome and they found there was a 100% adherence. Among the secondary outcomes were correlations between HbA1c and DDS, DQOLY-SF and HCCQ surveys. Acute complications, HbA1c and compliance with follow-up were assessed by chart review. There was a significant connection between the DQOLY-SF and DDS surveys prior to the transition (P <.01) as well as DDS and HbA1c (P < .01) and DQOLY-SF and HbA1c (P < .05).
Researchers also found a statistically significant decrease in diabetes distress from pre- to post-transition assessments, and an increase in HCCQ.
“Potentially, this program could serve as a model for other diabetes educators to replicate,” the researchers wrote. “Additionally, the concepts previously outlined could be applied readily to emerging adults with other chronic illnesses in need of transition. Ultimately, this would lead to more efficient and appropriate delivery of care by providers as well as healthier emerging adults with potentially fewer complications, both physically and psychologically,” explained the researcher.
There were no significant financial disclosures and the research team notes that every patient felt ready for the transition.