OBJECTIVE. The goal was to understand the concerns of adult health care providers regarding transition for young adult patients with childhood-onset conditions.
METHODS. Internists from the 2000 American Board of Medical Specialties directory were selected randomly. A 2-stage mail survey was conducted from August 2001 to November 2004. In stage 1, providers stated their concerns regarding accepting care of transitioning young adult patients. In stage 2, providers ranked their concerns.
RESULTS. A total of 241 internal medicine providers were selected for participation. In stage 1, 134 of 241 physicians were eligible to participate, and 67 (50%) of 134 completed stage 1 surveys. In stage 2, 112 physicians were eligible, and 65 (58%) of 112 responded. Concerns elicited in stage 1 were clustered into 6 categories: patient maturity, patient psychosocial needs, family involvement, providers' medical competency, transition coordination, and health system issues. In stage 2, concerns rated highest were lack of training in congenital and childhood-onset conditions, lack of family involvement, difficulty meeting patients' psychosocial needs, needing a superspecialist, lack of adolescent training, facing disability/end-of-life issues during youth and early in the relationship, financial pressures limiting visit time, and families' high expectations.
CONCLUSIONS. Internists clearly stated the need for better training in congenital and childhood-onset conditions, training of more adult subspecialists, and continued family involvement. They also identified concerns about patients' psychosocial issues and maturity, as well as financial support to care for patients with complex conditions.