Discussing Future Goals and Legal Aspects of Health Care: Essential Steps in Transitioning Youth to Adult-Oriented Care

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Discussing realistic future goals with the adolescent alone and with family, and reviewing legal aspects of health care transition (HCT), are essential steps in the transition from pediatric to adult-oriented care. Secondary analysis of datasets from 2 studies related to HCT assessed differences in provider practice for youth with and without special health care needs (SHCNs). Across both datasets, between 57% and 68.6% of providers reported some discussion of future goals with adolescent or with family. However, only 28.6% to 31% of providers reported discussing future goals with youth with SHCNs alone. It was rare for providers to report discussing legal aspects of HCT with any youth. Findings identify a gap in discussing future goals and legal aspects of HCT, as part of routine care for adolescents. Additional research to understand barriers and improve likelihood of these steps within HCT is needed.

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