Transition to Adult-Oriented Health Care: Perspectives of Youth and Adults with Complex Physical Disabilities Journal Articles uri icon

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  • INTRODUCTION: The transition to adulthood is extremely difficult for individuals with disabilities. We sought to explore the specific issue of transition to adult-oriented health care in a Canadian context. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 15 youth and 15 adults with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and acquired brain injuries of childhood, and their parents (n = 30). Respondents discussed their health care services, their experience with clinical transition, and contributing factors. We analyzed the transcripts using qualitative methods. RESULTS: All participants identified challenges in transition, including: lack of access to health care; lack of professionals' knowledge; lack of information and uncertainty regarding the transition process. Two solutions were identified: early provision of detailed information and more extensive support throughout the clinical transition process. DISCUSSION: The challenges of clinical transition were universal. More extensive information and support is needed during transition to ensure an efficient move to appropriate adult-oriented health care.


  • Young, Nancy L
  • Barden, Wendy S
  • Mills, Wendy A
  • Burke, Tricia A
  • Law, Mary Catherine
  • Boydell, Katherine

publication date

  • November 6, 2009

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