Purpose: The desirability of evaluating transition programs is widely acknowledged. This study aimed to explore the added value of transitional care investments for young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Design and methods: Based on qualitative data, two groups of diabetes teams were created through cluster analysis: paying more (HI-ATT) versus less attention (LO-ATT) to transitional care. Retrospective controlled evaluation included chart reviews on healthcare use and clinical outcomes; and a survey on young adults' experiences, satisfaction with care, and self-management skills.
Results: Data from 320 patients in fifteen diabetes teams were collected; 123 young adults (38.4%) completed a questionnaire. Self-reported outcomes showed that young adults treated by a HI-ATT team felt better prepared for transfer (p < .05). Self-management outcomes did not differ between groups. HI-ATT teams had more scheduled consultations in the year after transfer (p < .05); only 10.6% of all measurements had reached targeted HbA1c scores.
Conclusions: Current transitional care investments in Dutch diabetes care did not lead to notable improvements in experiences and outcomes, except for preparation for transfer. The period after transfer, however, is just as important. Attention is required for parent involvement.
Practice implications: Transitional care investments should extend beyond the
transfer. By educating young adults about the importance of regular clinic attendance and introducing additional person-centered consultations in adult care, nurses may help ensure continuity of care. Nurses could also introduce support programs for parents to prepare for the transition and their change in role, taking into account their continuing partnership.
Author(s) - affiliated with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences