Advances in medicine have dramatically improved the prognosis for children with chronic diseases that were previously fatal in childhood and have allowed them to survive to adulthood [1
]. In Japan, 1,000 patients with childhood-onset chronic disease (CCD) attain adulthood every year, and many of them do not have serious sequelae or disabilities [4
]. These high survival rates have increased the number of adolescents confronting the issue of transition from pediatric to adult healthcare [2
]. In addition, the prevalence of some kinds of chronic illnesses in childhood is increasing [5
]. These adolescent patients are still developing socially, and they often lack social experiences because of their childhood disease and have difficulties in adapting to both adult social life within their community and adult healthcare systems [12
]. Therefore, programs are required to ensure a seamless transition of medical care in childhood and adolescence to that in adulthood and to help children grow socially and become independent, working adults.
The transition of young people with CCD and disability from pediatric to adult healthcare has recently received significant attention in literature. Transition has been defined as a multi-faced, active process that attends to the medical, psychosocial, and educational needs of adolescents as they move from child to adult centered care [5
]. In Europe, the United States, and Australia, the importance of healthcare during this transition period has been acknowledged; there are guidelines for transition care and many studies have reported its effectiveness [13
]. The transition program is mostly problem oriented and its participants include patients, families, pediatricians, nurses, adult healthcare providers, and other healthcare professionals [13
]. Discussions have begun among medical professionals in Japan on whether pediatric or adult healthcare services should provide care to adult patients with CCD [17
Since implementation of this transition requires the cooperation of medical professionals (i.e., mainly pediatricians and nurses), it is important to ascertain the views of these professionals on this issue. To date, no survey has investigated the policies of different types of healthcare professionals on transition care for pediatric patients with chronic disease attaining adulthood in Japan. We conducted a questionnaire survey to compare awareness with regard to the problems involved in healthcare for adults with CCD and the transition programs between pediatricians at pediatric hospitals and nurses specializing in adolescent care.