Implementation of the LIFE span model of transition care for youth with childhood onset disabilities (pp. 547-559)
Authors: Shauna Kingsnorth, Sally Lindsay, Joanne Maxwell, Irina Tsybina, Hannah Seo, Colin Macarthur, and Mark Bayley
Abstract: Background: Advances in health care have resulted in a new generation of young adults with childhood onset disabilities and specialized health care needs that are not adequately addressed by adult services. In response, two health science centers in Toronto, Canada partnered to develop a linked model of care to support transition from pediatric to adult rehabilitation services.
Objective: To understand key factors in this collaborative cross-sectoral partnership by undertaking a process evaluation of stakeholder experiences.
Method: Using a qualitative design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 stakeholders including health professionals, managers, and senior administrators involved in the development and implementation of the LIFEspan model.
Model Findings: Important aspects of the Lifespan Mmodel include: patient and family preparation for transfer, cross-appointed staff, and a focus on chronic disability management. Key enablers of the development of the linked model included leadership, effective communication, parity, and compatibility between the two organizations. Barriers identified were specific to service delivery and concerned organizational policies and procedures, information transfer, and the creation and/or delineation of roles within an expert team. Translation of the model from a hypothetical framework to actual service delivery was identified as a key indicator of early success. The model was supported widely as suitable for application to other populations of young adults with childhood onset disabilities and other chronic conditions.
Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of champions and a commitment of resources to support continuity of care, overcome barriers to implementation of new practice change, and achieve long-term positive outcomes for individuals young adults with childhood onset disabilities.
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