Improving mental health pathways and care for adolescents in transition to adult services (IMPACT): a retrospective case note review of social and clinical determinants of transition

Gerard Leavey, Sheena McGrellis, Trisha Forbes, Annette Thampi, Gavin Davidson, Michael Rosato, B Bunting, Natalie Divin, Lynette Hughes, Alicia Toal, Moli Paul, Swaran P Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Poor transitions to adult care from child and adolescent mental health services may increase the risk of disengagement and long-term negative outcomes. However, studies of transitions in mental health care are commonly difficult to
administer and little is known about the determinants of successful transition. The persistence of health inequalities related to access, care, and outcome is now well accepted including the inverse care law which suggests that those most in need of services may be the least likely to obtain them. We sought to examine the pathways and determinants of transition, including the role of social class.

Method
A retrospective systematic examination of electronic records and case notes of young people eligible to transition to adult care over a 4-year period across five Health and Social Care NHS Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Results
We identified 373 service users eligible for transition. While a high proportion of eligible patients made the transition to adult services, very few received an optimal transition process and many dropped out of services or subsequently
disengaged. Clinical factors, rather than social class, appear to be more influential in the transition pathway. However, those not in employment, education or training (NEET) were more likely (OR 3.04: 95% CI 1.34, 6.91) to have been referred to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS), as were those with a risk assessment or diagnosis (OR 4.89: 2.45, 9.80 and OR 3.36: 1.78, 6.34), respectively.

Conclusions
Despite the importance of a smoother transition to adult services, surprisingly, few patients experience this. There is a need for stronger standardised policies and guidelines to ensure optimal transitional care to AMHS. The barriers between different arms of psychiatry appear to persist. Joint working and shared arrangements between child and adolescent and adult mental health services should be fostered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume54
Issue number8
Early online date6 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Child and adolescent Mental health Inequalities Service provision Transition
  • Service provision
  • Inequalities
  • Mental health
  • Transition
  • Child and adolescent

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