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Volume 27, Issue 2, June 2016

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2016; 27(2): 49-54
Transition of the patient with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Authors Information

Pediatric Immunology and Rheumatology Referral Center

First Department of Pediatrics, Aristotle University, Hippokration General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease; when disease activity persists into adulthood, it may lead to functional disability. The transition of adolescents and young adults with JIA to an adult Rheumatology clinic is not a matter of transfer: it is a coordinated and targeted transition and integration from child/family-focused health systems to those for adults. Transition is an active, dynamic and flexible process, adapted appropriately to the patient’s age, mental and physical development in respect to his/her culture. It aims to empower the patient to undertake the responsibilities of their own personal health and lifestyle, and above all, to guarantee the optimum lifelong functionality. A prerequisite for successful transition is the patient’s training in development of their skills regarding communication, decision making, and self-health management. The transition process involves parents, patients and health caregivers (pediatric/adult) and, in addition, educational /social services. Patient management is holistic, physical and psychosocial, with an extension to areas of education and vocational rehabilitation and requires the full cooperation of parents, patients and health professionals at all stages. The steps for final transition take place only when the patient has completed his/her developmental process and has a proven ability for self-healthcare management, unsupported by the family.