Differences in Pediatric Adolescent and Adult Rheumatology Care Provision

There are major differences between pediatric, adolescent, and adult rheumatology care provision. These are summarized in Table 3, and many are discussed in other chapters of this book. Only when these differences are acknowledged by rheumatology professionals will adolescent rheumatology become truly established.

The key principles of adolescent health care in rheumatology are listed in Table 4.

Table 2 The Key Tasks of Adolescence

To consolidate personal identity (including sexual) To establish relationships outside the family To achieve interdependence with parents To find a vocation

Table 3 Differences in Pediatric, Adolescent, and Adult Rheumatology Care

Age range

Growth and development Consultation dynamics Communication skills Role of parents/family Role of peers

Generic health issues, e.g., sexual health, substance use

Educational issues

Vocational issues

Consent and confidentiality issues

Different disease spectrum and manifestations

Impact of disease

Tolerance of immaturity

Procedural pain management


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