The professor of medicine, neurology, at the University of Toronto discussed the need for physicians to work together while transitioning patients with epilepsy—who may have any number of comorbidities—from pediatric care to adult care.
“You need to have a lot of people who are interested in helping with this process because there is a lot of interaction with different people, not only within the epilepsy group, but many times also you need to work with other specialties.”
Although Danielle Andrade, MD, MSc, professor of medicine, neurology, University of Toronto, treats adult patients with epilepsy, many of them ultimately come into her care as childhood-onset patients. Before they enter her care, she and her fellow physicians must transition them from the pediatric to adult care systems, which can often result in challenges.
In an interview with NeurologyLive at the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, in Bangkok, Thailand, Andrade detailed how this challenge can be addressed with a team of health care professionals. Those included in the team must, she said, have an understanding of the patient and their epilepsy, as this transition process often includes interactions with other physicians whose care the patient—who may have any number of comorbidities—is in. These can include cognitive disability, congenital issues, and others.
This, Andrade noted, requires the team to not only transfer care from one neurologist to another, but to potentially a pediatric psychiatrist, orthopedic surgeon, or cardiologist to their adult counterpart. While some patients are educated enough to smoothen this process, she shared that ensuring the physicians are active in making getting patients to the proper care channels is paramount.
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Andrade D. The need for transition programs. Presented at: 2019 International Epilepsy Congress. June 22-26, 2019; Bangkok, Thailand. Presentation 71.