Readiness in adolescent and young adult patients with arthritis  to transition from pediatric to adult health care was predicted by female gender, older age, and higher patient activation, according to cross-sectional study data published in Arthritis Care & Research.

The study cohort comprised 91 adolescent patients (age 17 to 21 years) with arthritis and 54 parents or guardians. Cohort demographic characteristics, patient health literacy, patient numeracy, and patient activation were captured using self-report questionnaires. Adolescent patients also completed the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire. Parents and guardians completed each self-report measure when possible, except for the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire.

Adolescent respondents were 80% female and had a mean age of 19±1.3 years. Adolescent patients were also primarily white (78.6%) and had completed at least some college or technical school (66.7%). An annual household income between $100,000 and $150,000 was most commonly reported (21.5%). The majority of adolescent patients and their parents or guardians had adequate health literacy (98%). The mean Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire score in adolescent patients was 4.0, which was described as the “I am starting to do this” stage of change. Multivariate regression models identified female gender (P =.01), older age (P =.0004), and higher patient activation (P <.0001) as predictors of transition readiness. Health literacy, numeracy, and other demographic variables were not significantly associated with transition readiness.

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The cross-sectional study design and homogenous study cohort limit the extent to which these data may be extrapolated to larger patient populations. Still, these results suggest that efforts to increase patient activation in adolescents may facilitate the transition process.


Lazaroff SM, Meara A, Tompkins MK, Peters E, Ardoin SP. How do health literacy, numeric competencies, and patient activation relate to transition readiness in adolescents and young adults with rheumatic Diseases? [published online August 29, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23739

This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor