Exploring the practices, experiences, and needs of care providers when supporting youth with complex care needs transition from pediatric to adult care
Jennifer Splane, Dr. Shelley Doucet and Dr. Alison Luke
Centre for Research in Integrated Care, University of New Brunswick
Youth with complex care needs (CCN) require significant health, educational, and/or social assistance beyond what is generally required by their peers. These youth experience complex conditions that were once seen as fatal and are now increasingly associated with survival into adulthood. As youth approach adulthood, they transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. Current transition practices, when present, are disorganized, resulting in health status deterioration and complications due to unmet needs of the youth. Consequently, the purpose of the proposed study is to develop a broader understanding of the current transition practices, experiences, and needs of primary care providers, specialists, and subspecialists in the support of youth with CCN as they transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. The exploratory study will use a qualitative descriptive design. A purposeful sample of 20 care providers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia who support youth in the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare will be obtained and interviewed individually using a semi-structured interview guide. Data analysis will consist of thematic analysis following the six phases outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006). Scientific rigor will be enhanced by employing techniques to improve the study’s credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Multiple strategies will be used to disseminate the research findings to practitioners, educators, administrators, and decision makers. Ethics approval has been obtained from UNB and Horizon Health Network with interviews currently being conducted. The findings from the proposed research study have the potential to improve transition practice and policy, and guide future research in this area.