Transition and transfer of the patient with paediatric-onset lupus: a practical approach for paediatric and adult rheumatology practices.
The prevalence of paediatric-onset SLE (pSLE) is estimated at 1million people worldwide and accounts for a significant proportion of SLE morbidity, mortality and cost. Patients with pSLE are especially vulnerable during and immediately following transfer from paediatric to adult rheumatology care, when substantial delays in care and increased disease activity are common. Transition is the process through which adolescents and young adults (AYA) develop the skills needed to succeed in the adult healthcare environment, a process that typically takes several years and may span a patient's time in paediatric and adult clinics. Recommendations for improving transition and transfer for AYA with pSLE include setting expectations of the AYA patient and family concerning transition and transfer, developing AYA's self-management skills, preparing an individualised transition plan that identifies a date for transfer, transferring at a time of medical and social stability, coordinating communication between the paediatric and adult rheumatologists (inclusive of both a medical summary and key social factors), and identifying a transition coordinator as a point person for care transfer and to monitor the AYA's arrival and retention in adult rheumatology care. Of paramount importance is empowering the adult rheumatologist with skills that enhance rapport with AYA patients, engage AYA patients and families in adult care models, promote adherence and encourage ongoing development of self-management skills.
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