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Counseling Lacking for Adolescents With Arthritis

Study says more programs needed for transition to adult health care

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children with arthritis need more help and information when they approach adulthood to ensure they receive proper health care as adults, a new study shows.

The study, led by Peter Scal of the University of Minnesota, found only about 20 percent of adolescents with arthritis received counseling on issues such as obtaining health insurance after coming of age. This was despite 75 percent of those in the national survey being encouraged to take command of their health-care needs in adulthood.

The findings, published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research, were on par with similar national studies of young people with any special health-care needs.

"Health-care transition is a complex set of tasks that are embedded within a complex developmental period and a complex heath-care system," the authors wrote. "It is not surprising, then, than the development and evaluation of services to facilitate health-care transition has been slow."

The authors called for additional studies to better understand young people's views on meeting their health-care needs in adulthood.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about childhood arthritis.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Wiley-Blackwell, news release, Jan. 7, 2009

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