Transitioning From Pediatric to Adult Diabetes Care

This Physician’s Weekly feature covering the transitioning from pediatric to adult diabetes care was completed in cooperation with the experts at the American Diabetes Association. During childhood and adolescence, diabetes care gradually shifts from being supervised by parents and other adults or guardians to self-care management. “Preparation for this transition by patients, their families, and healthcare providers is essential,” says Lori Laffel, MD, MPH. Studies have shown that there are often significant gaps in diabetes care for patients as they transition to adulthood for many reasons. These include competing social, emotional, educational, and occupational needs as well as differences in the systems of care for pediatric and adult patients. “With the increasing occurrence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in childhood and adolescence, more young people with diabetes will require a framework of care and education that prepares older teens and emerging adults for successful self-management and a seamless transfer to adult diabetes care providers,” Dr. Laffel says. Important New Guidance on Transitioning Diabetes Care In the November 2011 issue of Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Association published a position statement on managing diabetes for emerging adults transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare systems. The position statement was co-authored by Dr. Laffel and Anne Peters, MD, CDE, on behalf of the Transitions Working Group. The work group included representation from experts in several other medical associations and societies, including the CDC, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and other well-respected organizations. Pediatric and adult endocrinologists, primary care providers, diabetes nurse educators, dietitians, exercise experts, mental health professionals, and others were part of the collaboration. “In...