Identifying core components and indicators of successful transitions from child to adult mental health services: a scoping review
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The aim of this scoping review was to identify the core components of interventions that facilitate successful transition from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services. In the absence of rigorous evaluations of transition program effectiveness for transitioning youth with mental health care needs, these core components can contribute to informed decisions about promising program and intervention strategies. This review examined data from 87 peer-reviewed and non-academic documents to determine the characteristics that support the transition process and to identify opportunities for system and program improvement. Data were extracted and synthesized using a descriptive analytic framework. A major finding of this review is a significant lack of measurable indicators in the academic and gray literature. This review did identify 26 core components organized within the framework of the six core elements of healthcare transitions. Policy makers, practitioners, and administrators can use the core components to guide decisions about transition program and intervention content. Confirmation of the impact of these core program components on youth outcomes awaits the conduct of rigorous randomized trials. Future research also needs to explicitly focus on the development of indicators to evaluate transition programs and interventions.
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