Background: The transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care is a vulnerable period for youth with diabetes. During transition, youth with diabetes are at high risk for loss to follow-up, worsening glycemic control, and increased hospitalizations.
Objective: Our objective was to assess the effect of a technology enhanced transition coordinator on loss to follow-up in youth with diabetes transitioning from pediatric to adult diabetes care.
Methods: This open label, pre-post pragmatic clinical trial, assessed the effect of a technology enhanced transition coordinator in transitioning young adults with diabetes from pediatric to adult diabetes care. Our primary outcome was the rate of loss to follow-up defined as no outpatient diabetes appointments in the one year following transfer. The usual care (control) cohort were youth with diabetes who received usual care (i.e., transition preparation during pediatric diabetes appointments prior to transfer). The intervention cohort received the usual care and had a transition coordinator who assisted them through the transition period with regular, per protocol contact, by texting, emailing, Twitter®, and/or postings on a private Facebook® page.
Results: Baseline average hemoglobin A1c was not different between the intervention cohort [number (n) = 101, 47.5% females] versus the usual care cohort (n= 209, 49.3% female) [8.9 ± 2.0 standard deviation (SD) versus 9.1 ± 2.4 SD, p=0.28] in the year prior to transfer. In the year following transfer, 49.3% of young adults in the usual care cohort versus 11.8% of young adults in the intervention group did not attend any outpatient diabetes appointments (p< 0.01) in the year following transfer.
Conclusions: Our technology enhanced transition coordinator intervention was successful in reducing loss to follow-up in transitioning young adults with diabetes. Importantly, this program used simple readily accessible technologies which increases the transferability and sustainability of this intervention.
S. Butalia: None. A. McGuire: None. S. Crawford: None. D. Dyjur: None. J. Mercer: None. D. Pacaud: Other Relationship; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S, Sandoz, TOLMAR.