244406 Transition expectations of adolescents living with HIV and their guardians

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cynthia Fair, LCSW, DrPH , Human Service Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC
Kristen Sullivan, PhD, MSW , Human Service Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC
Rachel Dizney, MSW , Pediatric Infectious Disease, Duke University, Durham, NC
Avra Stackpole , Human Services Studies, Elon University, McLean, VA
Background: The increased life expectancy of perinatally infected adolescents necessitates the transition from pediatric to adult infectious disease care. Significant differences exist between pediatric and adult HIV clinic models, and adequate preparation is critical for successful transition. The expectations of youth on the cusp of this transition and their guardians have not previously been explored. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 perintally-infected adolescents (mean age 17.3 years, 90% African American) currently receiving care in a pediatric infectious disease clinic in the southeast U.S. and 17 guardians about their expectations related to the pending transition to adult care. Interviews were transcribed and coded for emergent themes. Results: Many adolescents had difficulty articulating expectations of their transition to an adult clinic, reporting they did not know what to expect. Others looked forward to increased responsibility and control, while some expressed concerns over leaving their current providers and having to establish new relationships. Most guardians viewed the transition to adult care as a tool to facilitate maturity. Several indicated they had not discussed transition with their child and were waiting for their child to initiate a conversation about it. Conclusions: Given the importance providers place on preparing youth for transition, it is surprising that many adolescents had no expectations about this impending change. This indicates a need for improved communication between providers and adolescents to enhance preparation and ultimately transition success. Additionally, guardians play an important role in the transition process and may need support to discuss this process with their child.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the public health importance of a successful transition from pediatric to adult infectious disease care for adolescents with perinatal HIV infection. 2. Articulate the expectations for transition to adult care of adolescents perinatally infected with HIV and their guardians. 3. Describe the potential implications of adolescent and guardian expectations for transition on transition success.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked within the field of HIV/AIDS for the past 20 years as researcher and clinician.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: HIV/AIDS & Health Disparities
See more of: HIV/AIDS