Effectiveness of Health System Services and Programs for Youth to Adult Transitions in Mental Health Care: A Systematic Review of Academic Literature

  • Mark G. EmbrettEmail author
  • Glen E. Randall
  • Christopher J. Longo
  • Tram Nguyen
  • Gillian Mulvale
Original Article


Youth shifting to adult mental health services often report experiencing frustrations with accessing care that adequately replaces the youth services they had received. This systematic review assesses the peer reviewed evidence on services/programs aimed at addressing youth to adult transitions in mental health services. Findings suggest little data exists on the effectiveness of transition services/programs. While the available evidence supports meetings between youth and youth caseworkers prior to transitions occurring, it also verifies that this is not common practice. Other identified barriers to effective transitions were categorized as logistical (ineffective system communication), organizational (negative incentives), and related to clinical governance.


Transition to adulthood Transition services Continuity of care Transition planning Program evaluation 



This study was funded by the Government of Ontario through a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Health System Research Fund grant entitled ‘Harnessing Evidence and Values for Health System Excellence’. The views expressed in this manuscript are the views of the authors and should not be taken to represent the views of the Government of Ontario. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support and feedback we have received from other Transitions study research team members: Patricia Wakefield, Briano DiRezze, Neil Barr, and Ashleigh Miatello. We also thank our Research Services Librarian Jeannie An, our research coordinator Diana Vania and research assistant Denis Ako-Arrey. Most importantly, our Steering Committee members for their generosity in sharing their time and expertise.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark G. Embrett
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Glen E. Randall
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Christopher J. Longo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tram Nguyen
    • 4
  • Gillian Mulvale
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Policy, Faculty of Health SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health Economics and Policy AnalysisMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Health Policy and Management, DeGroote School of BusinessMcMasterUniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Rehabilitation Science and CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability ResearchMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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