The Experience of Adolescent and Young Adult Transplant Recipients Transitioning to Adult-Focused Care: A Constructivist Grounded Theory




Lim, Angie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The healthcare transition for adolescent and young adult (AYA) organ transplant recipients is a critical yet understudied period, marked by a shift from pediatric to adult-focused care. This transition process presents unique challenges, including adherence to immunosuppressive regimens and addressing psychosocial factors that impact long-term graft survival and patient well-being. In this constructivist grounded theory (CGT) study I explored how AYA kidney and liver transplant recipients manage the transition process and identify how nurses and healthcare practitioners support psychosocial adaptation. Through in-depth interviews with transplant recipients, their families, and pediatric nurses, the study generated a substantive theory representative of AYA transplant recipients' experiences and adaptations during the transition process. The primary objective was to understand how AYAs prepare for and engage in the transition process. The secondary aim was to identify strategies for healthcare providers to support their psychosocial well-being. A CGT approach, grounded in symbolic interactionism and constructivism, was employed to systematically gather, synthesize, analyze, and conceptualize qualitative data, ultimately constructing a theory, Riding the Wave of Change: Transforming Through Transition, that captured the complexity of AYA transplant recipients' experiences. This study holds significant implications for nursing practice, as it fills a gap in the literature by addressing the underrepresentation of nursing voices in transition research. By generating a midrange substantive theory, the study enhances nursing knowledge on the transition experience and informs policymaking, practice, and research in the field of healthcare transitions for AYA organ transplant recipients. The findings provide valuable insights for pediatric and adult healthcare providers to better support AYA patients and their families during this critical period.



healthcare transition, transplant, adolescent, young adult, grounded theory