Transitional care for rheumatology patients in New Zealand
It is generally agreed that health service transition is an essential component of high quality health care (Jackson & Pencharz, 2003). The implementation of a transitional care program ensures the safe and effective transition of young people with rheumatological conditions from paediatric to adult service. The aim of this project was to develop and implement a recommended best practice to guide the transitional care program for the New Zealand Paediatric Rheumatology Service. Rosswurm and Larrabee’s (1999) model for evidence based practice provided the framework for the development of the recommended best practice and the implementation and evaluation plan for the change in practice. A list of core principles were developed to guide the rheumatology service and provide a basis for the recommended best practice. This report highlights the need for further research, particularly in relation to group education interventions, patient and family satisfaction, and the use of ‘transition readiness’ questionnaires as a means of measuring readiness for transfer. Other important areas for future research include investigating the long- term outcomes of a transition program on adult health attitudes and behaviours.