Implementation of a Transdisciplinary Team for the Transition Support of Medically and Socially Complex Youth

Mary R. Ciccarelli, Erin B. Gladstone, Eprise A.J. Armstrong Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


This article reports the ongoing work of a statewide transition support program which serves youth ages 11 to 22 with medically complex conditions and socially complex lives. Methods: Seven years of transition support services have led to program evolution demonstrated via a descriptive summary of the patients along with both families' and primary care providers' responses to satisfaction surveys. An illustrative case is used to highlight the types of expertise needed in specialized transition service delivery for patients with significant complexity. The team's analysis of their transdisciplinary work processes further explains the work. Results: Nearly three hundred youth with complex needs are served yearly. Families and primary care providers express high satisfaction with the support of the services. The case example shows the broad array of transition-specific services engaged beyond the usual skill set of pediatric or adult care coordination teams. Transdisciplinary team uses skills in collaboration, support, learning, and compromise within a trusting and respectful environment. They describe the shared responsibility and continuous learning of the whole team. Conclusions: Youth with complex medical conditions and complex social situations are at higher risk for problems during transition. Serving this population with a transdisciplinary model is time consuming and requires advanced expertise but, with those investments, we can meet the expectations of the youth, their families and primary care providers. Successful transdisciplinary teamwork requires sustained and focused investment. Further work is needed to describe the complexity of this service delivery along with distinct transition outcomes and costs comparisons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-667
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Adolescent health services
  • Chronic disease
  • Interprofession relations
  • Transition to adult care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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