Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Researching how young people with a chronic illness transition from paediatric to adult services

29 June 2022

Chron­ic con­di­tions affect a large num­ber of ado­les­cents. These con­di­tions often con­tin­ue through to adult­hood; how­ev­er, many young peo­ple fall through the gaps when tran­si­tion­ing from youth to adult services. 

This results in dis­en­gage­ment with health ser­vices, an increase in unplanned hos­pi­tal admis­sions and emer­gency room vis­its, as well as decreased out­pa­tient health care util­i­sa­tion. Cur­rent­ly, there is no nation­al frame­work for ado­les­cent tran­si­tion, or inte­grat­ed sys­tems to cap­ture data to gen­er­ate evi­dence to inform best practice.

The ado­les­cent tran­si­tion research project is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the CEIH Statewide Ado­les­cent Tran­si­tion Care Clin­i­cal Net­work and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ade­laide. The project will link lon­gi­tu­di­nal data from two exist­ing but sep­a­rate data­bas­es that will com­bine health and social sys­tem data (e.g. emer­gency pre­sen­ta­tions, edu­ca­tion, wel­fare) and out­pa­tient data from the Women’s and Children’s Hos­pi­tal (WCHN) out­pa­tient dataset to the BEBOLD data­base. Explor­ing the fea­si­bil­i­ty of using the data sets in this way should be com­plet­ed by Sep­tem­ber 2022

The project then plans to utilise these linked datasets to answer ques­tions around how young peo­ple with a chron­ic ill­ness tran­si­tion from pae­di­atric to adult ser­vices, aim­ing to;

  • Pro­vide an under­stand­ing of how well we cap­ture chron­ic health con­di­tions in ado­les­cence and data on ado­les­cent care transition
  • Con­sid­er the impact of chron­ic ill­ness on long term life outcomes 
  • Iden­ti­fy pre­dic­tors for poor transition.

The infor­ma­tion ascer­tained through the project will help to inform statewide ado­les­cent tran­si­tion and pro­vide a basis for future work between CEIH and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Adelaide.

To learn more about the Net­work, see Ado­les­cent Tran­si­tion Care Clin­i­cal Net­work.