Transition to Adult Care

Because more children with cystic fibrosis are growing into young and middle adulthood, adolescents need to receive help with the transition from relative dependence to independence in managing their own health care. In a survey of U.S. cystic fibrosis programs, although transfer of care occurs at a median age of 19 years, the initial discussion of transition does not occur until a median age of 17 years, thus limiting time to foster self-care skills (McLaughlin et al. 2008). Essential components of the transition process include introducing the transition concept to patients earlier in the teenage years; having contact with an adult treatment team prior to transfer; avoiding transfer at times of stress, such as during an illness exacerbation; providing education about adult cystic fibrosis issues (e.g., sexuality); and working with parents through the transition process (Boyle et al. 2001; Bryon and Madge 2001; McLaughlin et al. 2008).

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