Intest Res.  2020 Jan;18(1):11-17. 10.5217/ir.2019.09144.

Pediatric to adult inflammatory bowel disease transition: the Asian experience

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Hospital, Singapore


Many tertiary inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) centers recognize that a structured transition program is fundamental for an IBD unit. However, the path to ensuring a seamless transition for all stakeholders is often fraught with challenges. In this review, we go through current evidence, identify the requirementsof a successful transition program, and the barriers to seamless transfer. We also aim to shed light on differences in needs between the Western and Asian adolescent IBD populations. Majority of healthcare providers viewed having a structured transition program to be very important. The lack of a standard protocol led us to come up with a list of requirements ofa successful program. These include: multidisciplinary team meetings, alternating visits between the adultand pediatric clinics, proper documentation of records, and determining the ideal timing for transfer. The difficulties forthe Asian adolescent IBD population may be attributed to the reliance on parental support to make decisions regarding medicaltreatment. Lastly, there are various physician, patient and disease factors which are barriers to seamless transition. These includethe lack of proper documentation, and lack of patient self-efficacy. We also propose a standardized template for documentation of medical records for IBD patients.


Inflammatory bowel disease; Transition; Pediatric; Asian; Transitional care
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