Transitions from child to adult health care for young people with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review

Michael Brown*, Juliet Macarthur, Anna Higgins, Zoe Chouliara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Aims: To examine the experiences of health transitions for young people with intellectual disabilities and their carers and identify the implications for nursing practice.

Design: A systematic review and critical appraisal of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies.

Data sources: A search of the relevant literature published 2007-2017 was carried out in AMED, ASSIA, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed and Science Direct Sociological Abstracts databases.

Review Methods: A total of 12 out of 637 papers identified in the search met the inclusion criteria for this review. A narrative review of the papers was undertaken by synthesising the key findings and grouping them into concepts and emergent themes.

Results: Four main themes were identified: (i) becoming an adult; (ii) fragmented transition process and care; (iii) parents as advocates in emotional turmoil; and (iv) making transitions happen.

Conclusion: The range of issues that impact the transition from child to adult health services for young people with intellectual disabilities and their carers raise important implications for policy development, nursing practice and education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number11
Early online date28 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2019


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