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Transition outcomes for young people discharged from adolescent medium secure services in England: A qualitative study exploring adolescents' and carers' experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Maria I Livanou, Marcus Bull, Rebecca Lane, Sophie D'Souza, Aiman El Asam, Swaran P Singh

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1242
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number4
Published21 Sep 2021

King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Young people in secure services present with multiple vulnerabilities; therefore, transition periods are especially challenging for this group. In this study, we followed up young people discharged from adolescent medium secure services to adult and community settings with the aim to explore transition experiences and outcomes.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from 15 child and adult mental health services in England. We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with 13 young people, aged 18-19 years, moving from adolescent medium secure units 2-6 months post-transition, and five carers 1-3 months pre-transition. Thematic analysis was performed to identify predetermined or data-driven themes elicited from face-to-face interviews.

RESULTS: The findings indicated poor transition outcomes for young people with the most severe mental health symptoms and those who committed serious offences. Three overarching themes were identified: (1) unsettling environmental factors within adult services; (2) experiences of transition management and preparation and (3) parental experiences of transition process and engagement with adult services.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate that young people and carers value ongoing involvement in the transition process by well-informed parallel care. They also highlight the need for a national integrative care model that diverges from the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

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