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Support for Transition from Adolescent to Adult Health Care Among Adolescents With and Without Mental, Behavioral, and Developmental Disorders — United States, 2016–2017
  • Published Date:

    August 28 2020

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 69(34):1156-1160
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-233.83 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Clinical guidelines recommend that primary care providers (PCPs) provide guidance and support to ensure a planned transition from pediatric to adult health care for adolescents, beginning at age 12 years (1). However, most adolescents do not receive the recommended health care transition planning (2). This is particularly concerning for adolescents with diagnosed mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders (MBDDs) (3), who account for approximately 20% of U.S. adolescents (4). Childhood MBDDs are linked to increased long-term morbidity and mortality; timely health care transition planning might mitigate adverse outcomes (5,6). CDC analyzed pooled, parent-reported data from the 2016 and 2017 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), comparing adolescents, aged 12-17 years, with and without MBDDs on a composite measure and specific indicators of recommended health care transition planning by PCPs. Overall, approximately 15% of adolescents received recommended health care transition planning: 15.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14.1%-17.5%) of adolescents with MBDDs, compared with 14.2% (95% CI = 13.2%-15.3%) of adolescents without MBDDs. Relative to peers without MBDDs and after adjusting for age, adolescents with anxiety were 36% more likely to receive recommended health care transition planning, and those with depression were 69% more likely; adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were 35% less likely to receive such transition planning, and those with developmental delay* were 25% less likely. Fewer than 20% of adolescents with MBDDs receiving current treatment met the transition measure. These findings suggest that a minority of adolescents with MBDDs receive recommended transition planning, indicating a potential missed public health opportunity to prevent morbidity and mortality in a population at high risk for health care disengagement (1). Improving access to comprehensive and coordinated programs and services,| as well as increasing provider training concerning adolescents' unique mental and physical health care needs (7), could help increase the number of adolescents benefiting from successful health care transitions (4).
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