A systematic review of the literature on ethical aspects of transitional care between child- and adult-orientated health services

MILESTONE Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Healthcare policy and academic literature have promoted improving the transitional care of young people leaving child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Despite the availability of guidance on good practice, there seems to be no readily accessible, coherent ethical analysis of transition. The ethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, justice and respect for autonomy can be used to justify the need for further enquiry into the ethical pros and cons of this drive to improve transitional care. The objective of this systematic review was therefore to systematically search for existing ethical literature on child- to adult-orientated health service transitions and to critically appraise and collate the literature, whether empirical or normative.

METHODS: A wide range of bioethics, biomedical and legal databases, grey literature and bioethics journals were searched. Ancestral and forward searches of identified papers were undertaken. Key words related to transition, adolescence and young adulthood, ethics, law and health. The timeframe was January 2000 to at least March 2016. Titles, abstracts and, where necessary, full articles were screened and duplicates removed. All included articles were critically appraised and a narrative synthesis produced.

RESULTS: Eighty two thousand four hundred eighty one titles were screened, from which 96 abstracts were checked. Forty seven full documents were scrutinised, leading to inclusion of two papers. Ancestral and forward searches yielded four further articles. In total, one commentary, three qualitative empirical studies and two clinical ethics papers were found. All focused on young people with complex care needs and disabilities. The three empirical papers had methodological flaws. The two ethical papers were written from a clinical ethics context rather than using a bioethical format. No literature identified specifically addressed the ethical challenges of balancing the delivery of transitional care to those who need it and the risk of pathologizing transient and self-limited distress and dysfunction, which may be normal during adolescence.

CONCLUSIONS: There is very little research on ethical aspects of transitional care. Most existing studies come from services for young people with complex care needs and disabilities. There is much scope for improvement in the amount and quality of empirical research and ethical analysis in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73
JournalBMC Medical Ethics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2018

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child care
Health Services
health service
Ethical Analysis
Clinical Ethics
Bioethics
moral philosophy
bioethics
Adolescent Health Services
Health Transition
adolescence
Beneficence
Literature
Empirical Research
disability
Social Justice
Mental Health Services
gray literature
Ethics
adulthood

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A systematic review of the literature on ethical aspects of transitional care between child- and adult-orientated health services. / MILESTONE Consortium.

In: BMC Medical Ethics, Vol. 19, No. 1, 18.07.2018, p. 73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Healthcare policy and academic literature have promoted improving the transitional care of young people leaving child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Despite the availability of guidance on good practice, there seems to be no readily accessible, coherent ethical analysis of transition. The ethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, justice and respect for autonomy can be used to justify the need for further enquiry into the ethical pros and cons of this drive to improve transitional care. The objective of this systematic review was therefore to systematically search for existing ethical literature on child- to adult-orientated health service transitions and to critically appraise and collate the literature, whether empirical or normative.METHODS: A wide range of bioethics, biomedical and legal databases, grey literature and bioethics journals were searched. Ancestral and forward searches of identified papers were undertaken. Key words related to transition, adolescence and young adulthood, ethics, law and health. The timeframe was January 2000 to at least March 2016. Titles, abstracts and, where necessary, full articles were screened and duplicates removed. All included articles were critically appraised and a narrative synthesis produced.RESULTS: Eighty two thousand four hundred eighty one titles were screened, from which 96 abstracts were checked. Forty seven full documents were scrutinised, leading to inclusion of two papers. Ancestral and forward searches yielded four further articles. In total, one commentary, three qualitative empirical studies and two clinical ethics papers were found. All focused on young people with complex care needs and disabilities. The three empirical papers had methodological flaws. The two ethical papers were written from a clinical ethics context rather than using a bioethical format. No literature identified specifically addressed the ethical challenges of balancing the delivery of transitional care to those who need it and the risk of pathologizing transient and self-limited distress and dysfunction, which may be normal during adolescence.CONCLUSIONS: There is very little research on ethical aspects of transitional care. Most existing studies come from services for young people with complex care needs and disabilities. There is much scope for improvement in the amount and quality of empirical research and ethical analysis in this area.",
author = "{MILESTONE Consortium} and Moli Paul and Lesley O'Hara and Priya Tah and Cathy Street and Athanasios Maras and Ouakil, {Diane Purper} and Paramala Santosh and Giulia Signorini and Singh, {Swaran Preet} and Helena Tuomainen and Fiona McNicholas",
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AU - O'Hara, Lesley

AU - Tah, Priya

AU - Street, Cathy

AU - Maras, Athanasios

AU - Ouakil, Diane Purper

AU - Santosh, Paramala

AU - Signorini, Giulia

AU - Singh, Swaran Preet

AU - Tuomainen, Helena

AU - McNicholas, Fiona

PY - 2018/7/18

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Healthcare policy and academic literature have promoted improving the transitional care of young people leaving child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Despite the availability of guidance on good practice, there seems to be no readily accessible, coherent ethical analysis of transition. The ethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, justice and respect for autonomy can be used to justify the need for further enquiry into the ethical pros and cons of this drive to improve transitional care. The objective of this systematic review was therefore to systematically search for existing ethical literature on child- to adult-orientated health service transitions and to critically appraise and collate the literature, whether empirical or normative.METHODS: A wide range of bioethics, biomedical and legal databases, grey literature and bioethics journals were searched. Ancestral and forward searches of identified papers were undertaken. Key words related to transition, adolescence and young adulthood, ethics, law and health. The timeframe was January 2000 to at least March 2016. Titles, abstracts and, where necessary, full articles were screened and duplicates removed. All included articles were critically appraised and a narrative synthesis produced.RESULTS: Eighty two thousand four hundred eighty one titles were screened, from which 96 abstracts were checked. Forty seven full documents were scrutinised, leading to inclusion of two papers. Ancestral and forward searches yielded four further articles. In total, one commentary, three qualitative empirical studies and two clinical ethics papers were found. All focused on young people with complex care needs and disabilities. The three empirical papers had methodological flaws. The two ethical papers were written from a clinical ethics context rather than using a bioethical format. No literature identified specifically addressed the ethical challenges of balancing the delivery of transitional care to those who need it and the risk of pathologizing transient and self-limited distress and dysfunction, which may be normal during adolescence.CONCLUSIONS: There is very little research on ethical aspects of transitional care. Most existing studies come from services for young people with complex care needs and disabilities. There is much scope for improvement in the amount and quality of empirical research and ethical analysis in this area.

AB - BACKGROUND: Healthcare policy and academic literature have promoted improving the transitional care of young people leaving child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Despite the availability of guidance on good practice, there seems to be no readily accessible, coherent ethical analysis of transition. The ethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, justice and respect for autonomy can be used to justify the need for further enquiry into the ethical pros and cons of this drive to improve transitional care. The objective of this systematic review was therefore to systematically search for existing ethical literature on child- to adult-orientated health service transitions and to critically appraise and collate the literature, whether empirical or normative.METHODS: A wide range of bioethics, biomedical and legal databases, grey literature and bioethics journals were searched. Ancestral and forward searches of identified papers were undertaken. Key words related to transition, adolescence and young adulthood, ethics, law and health. The timeframe was January 2000 to at least March 2016. Titles, abstracts and, where necessary, full articles were screened and duplicates removed. All included articles were critically appraised and a narrative synthesis produced.RESULTS: Eighty two thousand four hundred eighty one titles were screened, from which 96 abstracts were checked. Forty seven full documents were scrutinised, leading to inclusion of two papers. Ancestral and forward searches yielded four further articles. In total, one commentary, three qualitative empirical studies and two clinical ethics papers were found. All focused on young people with complex care needs and disabilities. The three empirical papers had methodological flaws. The two ethical papers were written from a clinical ethics context rather than using a bioethical format. No literature identified specifically addressed the ethical challenges of balancing the delivery of transitional care to those who need it and the risk of pathologizing transient and self-limited distress and dysfunction, which may be normal during adolescence.CONCLUSIONS: There is very little research on ethical aspects of transitional care. Most existing studies come from services for young people with complex care needs and disabilities. There is much scope for improvement in the amount and quality of empirical research and ethical analysis in this area.

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DO - 10.1186/s12910-018-0276-3

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C2 - 30021635

VL - 19

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JO - BMC Medical Ethics

JF - BMC Medical Ethics

SN - 1472-6939

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