Introduction: Despite research and implementation of transition models in the last decades, transfer from paediatric to adult care still poses great challenges. Predominantly studies on health care transition have been based on the perspective of experts or health care professionals. Aim: To synthesize qualitative studies on how adolescents and young adults with chronic diseases experience transition from paediatric to adult care. Methods: Literature search in major databases covering the years from 1999 to November 2010 was performed. Further forward citation snowballing search was conducted in major databases. Of the 1143 screened records, 18 studies were included. Data were analyzed into meta-summaries and meta-synthesis following Sandelowski and Barroso’s synthesis of qualitative research. Findings: Transition from paediatric to adult ward was characterized by experiences of loss of familiar surroundings and relationships combined with insecurity and a feeling of being unprepared for what was ahead. Four sub-themes illustrating these experiences were identified: facing changes of significant relationships, moving from familiar to unknown ward cultures, timing of transfer and achieving responsibility. Conclusion: Young adults’ transition experiences seem to be commensurable across diagnoses and cultures. Feelings of not belonging and being redundant during the transfer process moving from paediatric to adult ward, is striking. Appreciating young adults’ need to be acknowledged and valued as competent collaborators in their own transfer is crucial, and may protect them from additional health problems in a vulnerable phase of their life.
Main Research Area:
International Council of Nurses (ICN) Quadrennial Congress, 2013