The transition period from pediatric to adult care has been associated with reduced disease control and elevated psychosocial stress in patients with IBD. Within this population, these complications have been particularly prominent in adolescents transitioning to college. Prior studies have reported that these complications may be caused by loss of follow-up and medication non-adherence. We hypothesized that factors including resilience, self-efficacy, and the presence of a social support system can also play a role in facilitating a healthy transition. We ran a 2-hours seminar at the Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at Mount Sinai Hospital with the aim of creating a space for matriculating college students with IBD and their parents to discuss concerns regarding their transition. The Director of Psychobehavioral Research, 2 students with IBD, and one parent with IBD led the seminar. Featured topics included: (1) self-management, (2) accommodations, (3) social life, and (4) lifestyle.Methods:
Before the seminar began, college students with IBD (n = 5) and their parents (n = 3) filled out checklists developed by the student seminar leaders that featured a list of concerns teens/parents sometimes have with regards to transitioning to college. The seminar leaders shared personal narratives regarding their own transitions to college. Parents and students broke into separate groups to discuss specific concerns noted on the initial checklists. Each seminar attendee received a “Transitioning to College” Educational Handout written by the student leaders. At the end of the seminar, participants (n = 7) filled out an adapted version of the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ)-8. Common concerns of students and parents were tallied, and average CSQ-8 scores were calculated.Results:
There were 5 college students (62.5%) and 3 parents (37.5%) at the seminar (n = 8). Four students were female (80%), 4 had Crohn's disease (80%) and one had Ulcerative Colitis (20%), and average age was 19.2 years. The most common concerns voiced by students transitioning to college were getting in-class academic accommodations and making up exams missed due to illness. Other concerns included knowing what to do in emergency situations, feeling pressure to engage in social activities when unwell, and discussing IBD with professors. Parents were most concerned with their children getting adequate nutrition, and were also concerned with their children finding time to relax, balancing IBD with academics, and knowing who to ask for help. All participants were “very satisfied” with the seminar. The majority of participants rated the seminar as “excellent” and stated it helped them deal more effectively with their problems.Conclusions:
Discussion-based seminars, such as the one run at the Feinstein IBD seminar, can increase confidence and problem-solving skills in patients moving through transition periods. This seminar was exclusively focused on adolescents who are currently transitioning to college, but we intend to launch further educational seminars and tools focused on other transition populations as well (i.e., patients transitioning from surgery or pregnancy). There is currently limited knowledge about what factors affect transition readiness in college-bound adolescent populations. In future seminars, we hope to recruit more participants to further investigate these factors.