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Experiences of adolescents with cystic fibrosis during their transition from paediatric to adult health care: a qualitative study of young Australian adults

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Brumfield, K.; Lansbury, G.

PURPOSE: Exploring the experiences of Australian adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) as they made the transition from paediatric to adult care. This often traumatic change of care was examined from the perspective of the two types of care, paediatric and adult, elements of a transition programme if available and psychosocial factors that may affect the transition. METHOD: Focused-in-depth interviews were conducted with six young adults with CF (19-34 years), asking them to describe their experiences during the transition period. RESULTS: Thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews indicated that the four main areas that affected the transition experiences of the participants were paediatric and adult health care, the elements included in the transition programme, and psychosocial factors. CONCLUSIONS: The relationship of the patient with their paediatric doctor, the doctor’s attitude towards the transition and the delivery of age-appropriate care appeared to influence the experiences of adolescents as they changed to adult care. Successful elements of a transition programme, if it was offered, were the orientation tours, the provision of information and the presence of a familiar face at adult clinics. Transition experiences of individuals had potential effects on their psychological and physical well-being so that, in order to maximize quality of care, health professionals must be aware of factors which may improve transition experiences.

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