Most adolescents with severe asthma who transitioned from a pediatric pulmonology care center to an adult facility were able to successfully manage their asthma and preserve respiratory function, according to a study published in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy.

 

Mélisande Bourgoin-Heck, MD, MSc, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study examining asthma management in young patients with severe asthma following their transition to an adult pulmonology care facility. Patients included in the investigation had been treated for at least 6 months at a pediatric asthma center before being referred to an adult center. During the transition period, the researchers assessed asthma control and respiratory function and patients completed an online questionnaire addressing their transition experience.

 

73% of Patients Reported Well-Controlled Asthma After Transition

“Our first objective was to evaluate the asthma control maintenance in adolescents with severe asthma, following their transition from a pediatric to an adult specialist center,” the study authors wrote. “Our secondary objectives were to describe patient experience during transition, analyze the transition process, determine factors that could affect the process, and assess patients’ clinical evolution.”

Among participants, 73% experienced positive outcomes, with consistent asthma control test scores ≥20 during the transition period. During follow-up, most patients were able to preserve adequate control and respiratory function (> 60% FEV1 > 80%). A total of 64.8% of patients who completed the questionnaire expressed satisfaction with their transition to an adult facility. However, 25% of patients were lost to follow-up.

 

Improvements Needed to Reduce Loss of Patients During Follow-Up

Dr. Bourgoin-Heck and colleagues acknowledge several limitations in this study. “It was retrospective with a small population size and a heterogeneous follow-up, which did not allow us to rigorously evaluate the proportion of patients who no longer had severe asthma as adults,” they noted. “Furthermore, our patients did not undergo the transition process during the same period. Therefore, there could have been a bias of memory when the questionnaire was answered.”

Although the transition process was positive for most patients, the study authors concluded that, “several improvements can be proposed, including early discussion of the medical plan and the implementation of procedures to reduce loss to follow-up.”