Moving up: Healthcare transition experiences of adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis

Published:March 30, 2022DOI:


      • Healthcare transition experiences of participants varied from smooth to abrupt
      • Participants desired information about adult care and control over their transition
      • Involving youth in decisions regarding their transition is recommended
      • Early transfer of cystic fibrosis self-management responsibility is recommended



      The experience of healthcare transition from pediatric to adult care in cystic fibrosis (CF) remains poorly understood, particularly among racially and ethnically diverse adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with CF. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of a diverse sample of AYAs with CF at one urban academic medical center regarding healthcare transition.

      Design and methods

      Guided by qualitative descriptive methodology, we purposively selected AYAs who represented the pre and post transition experience: some AYAs had experienced the transition preparation program CF R.I.S.E. Demographic information and responsibility for self-management behaviors were collected using an online survey. Semi-structured video interviews were conducted following an iterative interview guide. A codebook directed inductive coding. QSR NVivo Version 12 software was used to organize the data.


      12 AYAs with CF were enrolled (25% female, 25% Black AYA, 33% Hispanic/Latina/o AYA, 50% White AYA; mean age 20.8 years). Three themes were identified: independent care of the whole self, preparing for change and the unknown and transition experiences vary.


      Not all participants experienced a smooth transition. Participants identified suggestions for the development of transition preparation interventions, specifically around involving AYAs in transition decisions and beginning transition preparation early in adolescence.

      Practice implications

      Participants expressed uncertainty about transition when they felt little control over the process or lacked sufficient information about adult care. Therefore, comprehensive early transition preparation for all AYAs with CF with a focus on involving AYAs in transition decisions is recommended.


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