Interventions to support transitions in care for children and families with complex health care needs in the community

Children and youth  with complex health care needs have a variety of conditions that range from less severe to life-threatening or life-limiting. For example, some children depend on medical devices and technologies whereas others require less intensive supports to live, work, and play in community settings. These children and youth experience many transitions, moving across stages of their conditions, from childhood to adulthood, between care settings, or from hospital to home/school or vice versa. Transitions are often challenging not only for children, but also for their families and care providers. In this one-year project, we will conduct a review of the literature to shed light on interventions that support transitions in care occurring from: 1) diagnosis to age 19 years; and 2) pediatric to adult care, for youth aged between 14 and 25 years of age. Findings from our project, which are in line with primary care priorities established by NB, NS, PEI, and NL, will lead to recommendations for policy and practice, and will inform future research to support transitions in care for children with complex health care needs and their families. At the heart of this proposal are patients who will have a meaningful role in the project’s design and implementation. Other members of the research team include researchers, clinicians, librarians, policy makers, and community members across the Atlantic provinces and beyond. I am the Nominated Principal Investigator of this one year grant. We have secured $100,000, of which $25,000 is from CIHR; $35,500 from matching partners across Atlantic Canada; and the rest are in-kind contributions. Our team scored second in the competition.