Transition from paediatric to adult endocrinology can be challenging for adolescents, their families and healthcare professionals. Previous studies have shown that up to 25% of young adults with endocrine disorders are lost to follow-up after moving out of paediatric care. This poses a health risk for young adults, which can lead to serious and expensive medical acute and long-term complications.
In order to understand and prevent dropout, we studied electronic medical records of patients with endocrine disorders. These patients were over 15 years old when they attended the paediatric endocrine outpatient clinic (OPC) of our hospital in 2013–2014 and should have made the transfer to adult care at the time of the study.
Of 387 adolescents, 131 had an indication for adult follow-up within our university hospital. Thirty-three (25%) were lost to follow-up. In 24 of them (73%), the invitation for the adult OPC had never been sent. We describe the failures in logistic processes that eventually led to dropout in these patients.
We found a 25% dropout during transfer from paediatric to adult tertiary endocrine care. Of all dropouts, 73% could be attributed to the failure of logistic steps. In order to prevent these dropouts, we provide practical recommendations for patients and paediatric and adult endocrinologists.