Can transition to adult care for transplant recipients be improved by intensified services while patients are still in pediatrics?

  • Annunziato R
  • Parbhakar M
  • Kapoor K
 et al. 
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Context-Transferring out of pediatrics is a vulnerable time for transplant recipients. Use of a transition coordinator before and after transfer improves outcomes, although it is unclear whether placing a transition coordinator in pediatrics alone is beneficial. Objective-To determine if incorporating a transition coordinator in pediatrics only is associated with stable outcomes for kidney transplant recipients. Design-A retrospective chart review was conducted on outcomes for kidney transplant recipients who shifted service location between 2008 and 2012. Setting-A pediatric and adult transplant unit. Patients-Twenty-two patients transferred during the study period. Intervention-Twelve patients received more intensified preparation from the team's social worker, whose role was aligned with a transition coordinator position; 10 patients received standard care. Main Outcome Measures-The primary outcome was medication adherence, using a validated measure, standard deviations of tacrolimus blood levels. A standard deviation greater than 2.5 has been established as a threshold associated with poor outcomes such as rejection. Standard deviation of tacrolimus levels was compared for 1 year before and 1 year after transfer. Results-Medication adherence worsened from 1 year before (2.03 [SD, 0.75]) to 1 year after transfer (2.95 [SD, 1.38]; t = -;3.07, P = .007). A repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated that this pattern was the same for patients who did and patients who did not receive intensified services in pediatrics (F1,16 = 1.07, P = .32).

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  • Rachel A. Annunziato

  • Meera Parbhakar

  • Kathryn Kapoor

  • Robyn Matloff

  • Nicole Casey

  • Corinne Benchimol

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