BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to assess current international practice in the long term follow-up, in managing active problems and transition of care for teenagers born with anorectal malformations (ARM).
METHODS: An original survey was administered to delegates attending two large colorectal surgical meetings in 2015. The 21 questions covered long term follow-up, specific issues for teenagers and transition of care.
RESULTS: 96/236 delegates completed the survey. Follow-up was routinely suspended before 10 year of age by 33% of respondents. 90% of them did not use a scoring system to assess or risks stratify patients, despite 81% stating that an objective score would be beneficial. 40% of respondents felt that >30% of their teenagers had ongoing active medical or psychosocial issues. 42% thought their patients were not ready to be transitioned. The process of transition should start around 13-16 years according to 54% of respondents. 72% had no protocol for transition and 82% did not hold multidisciplinary meetings with adult practitioners before transition.
CONCLUSIONS: International consensus on the following aspects of the care in ARM is needed: structured long term follow-up, objective assessment and risk stratification scores, pathways of transition and methods to prepare patients, parents and adult practitioners.
- Journal Article