The transition from child and adolescent to adult services in eating disorders: a qualitative study of service user and carer perspectives.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Objective: The transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS) can be a challenging time for young people with eating disorders and their families. The current study explored the transition between CAMHS and AMHS from the perspectives of service users and carers.
Method: Participants were recruited from NHS Services in the West of Scotland region. A sample of six service users and five carers participated in the study. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to explore participants’ experiences of transition.
Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data: ‘Transition Experience’, ‘Shift in Treatment Ethos’ and ‘Outcome of Transition’. There was a high degree of agreement between the accounts of services users and carers.
Discussion: The prospect of transition was associated with feelings anxiety for most participants. Transitions that were planned and co-ordinated provided the best continuity of care, while an absence of transition planning was associated with disruptions of care and negative outcomes. The importance of determining decisions about transition on an individual basis was highlighted. Differences in treatment approach between CAMHS and AMHS were explored. Service users experienced increased autonomy in AMHS, while carers were more often excluded from treatment. There was divergence in how participants viewed these changes. These findings offer insights into how services may support the transition from CAMHS to AMHS, elaborating upon and adding to, clinical guidelines for transitional care.
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