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Identifying process and outcome indicators of successful transitions from child to adult mental health services: protocol for a scoping review

05 Jul 2016


A significant proportion of youth need to transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS); however, the transition process is not well understood and often experienced poorly by youth. In the effort to design and evaluate standards of practice for transitions, there is a need to identify key elements of a successful transition. The objectives of this scoping review are to: (1) identify definitions of successful transitions from CAMHS to AMHS; and (2) identify indicators that have been used to measure CAMHS–AMHS transition care processes and quality, and outcomes.


We will search 8 electronic bibliographic databases from 1980 to 2016 (eg, Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO), professional associations, policy documents, and other grey literature to identify relevant material. We will include experimental, quasi-experimental, observational studies, and non-research studies (guidelines, narrative reviews, policy documents) examining the transition from CAMHS to AMHS. 2 raters will independently screen each retrieved title and abstract for eligibility using the study inclusion criteria (level 1), and then will independently assess full-text articles to determine if these meet the inclusion criteria (level 2). Data extraction will be completed and results will be synthesised both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Ethics and dissemination

The results of the scoping review will be used to develop a set of indicators that will be prioritised and evaluated in a Delphi consensus study. This will serve as a foundation for the development of the first instrument to assess the quality and success of CAMHS–AMHS transitions. Ethics approval is not required for this scoping study.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open