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MUHC study calls for action to help adolescents with diabetes transition to adult care

Researchers point out significant gaps in transition care services for young adults with diabetes in Quebec

Aug 16, 2017

Montreal – Adolescence can be a turbulent period of life, with struggles to establish autonomy, identity issues and risk-taking behaviours. For young adults with a chronic illness such as type 1 diabetes, this transition phase also brings about other challenges as they assume an increased responsibility for their overall health. A new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) sheds light on gaps in transition care practice in Quebec, pointing out a lack of standardized policies across pediatric diabetes centres. These findings, which were published in the open-access journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, highlight a need for the evaluation and development of targeted interventions at multiple levels to improve the transition process.

“The transition from pediatric to adult care is a huge and complex process that is not unique to type 1 diabetes. It also occurs with other childhood chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or in kidney transplant recipients,’’ says the study’s senior author Dr. Meranda Nakhla, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at McGill University. “Previous studies have shown that transition is a vulnerable period when adolescents tend to fall out of medical care, meaning that once they leave pediatric care to be transferred to adult care they do not have regular follow up for their chronic illness.’’ Read more