Transition of Care in Paediatric Surgery: Current practices and perspectives of paediatric surgeons in Malaysia

Shung K. Tan, Anand Sanmugam, Mahmoud Danaee, Tindivanam M. Ramanujam, Mohan A. Nallusamy, Zakaria Zahari, Thambidorai R. Rao

Abstract


Objectives: Transition of care (TOC) from paediatric to adult care is still at an early stage in Malaysia. This study aimed to explore current practices and perspectives regarding TOC among paediatric surgeons in Malaysia. Methods: This study was carried out between June and December 2017. All 48 paediatric surgeons currently working in Malaysia were invited to participate in a questionnaire-based survey to assess demographic characteristics and practices and perspectives regarding TOC. Results: A total of 38 paediatric surgeons participated in the survey (response rate: 79.2%). Overall, 97.4% did not have an organised TOC model in their institution, with most (65.8%) caring for paediatric patients with complex surgical conditions until adulthood. Although the majority (86.8%) felt that care should be transitioned to adult surgeons with appropriate credentials, most surgeons (84.2%) nevertheless preferred to be involved in the management of adolescent patients after transition. However, there was no consensus regarding the most suitable age to begin the transition. Years of experience as a paediatric surgeon and place of practice did not affect overall TOC practice scores (P >0.050 each). The presence of adult comorbidities was considered the most common reason to initiate TOC (81.6%), while the lack of TOC guidelines was perceived to be the greatest barrier (84.2%). Conclusion: This study provides a better understanding of TOC from the point of view of paediatric surgeons in Malaysia. However, further studies involving other stakeholders (i.e. patients and adult surgeons) are needed to help formulate a suitable and successful TOC model in this setting.

Keywords: Transition to Adult Care; Pediatrics; Adolescents; Surgery; Attitudes; Professional Practice; Malaysia.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2019.19.04.011

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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