Approximately 98,000 or 19% of all children residing in New Mexico have special health care needs with almost half of these children nearing the critical transition period of moving into an adult-oriented medical model of care. A critical initial step to ensuring the medical, developmental, and psychosocial needs are addressed in the transition process includes the creation of an organizational transition policy. The aim of this study was to explore differences in the perceived age of transition and transfer for youth with special health care needs into an adult-oriented medical setting, based on providers’ location of clinical time, the population of their practice, and type of clinical practice. A descriptive survey was utilized that incorporated key questions from the 2008 Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey of Fellows #71 in addition to customized questions exploring the perceived age of transition and transfer for youth. Results from the study revealed a statistically significant difference in transition and transfer age between generalist/primary care providers and specialty care providers for YSHCN (M = 19.03, M = 20.09 respectively). A more in-depth analysis revealed that the differences in age were mainly between the pediatric generalist/primary care and pediatric specialty care providers. The overall findings demonstrated the lack of an age consensus among providers and highlighted the need for health system redesign in order to reduce practice variation that may hinder the transition process.



Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Level of Degree


First Committee Member

Dr. Carolyn Montoya

Second Committee Member

Dr. Michael Chicarelli


transition, transfer, special health care needs, age

Included in

Nursing Commons