Healthcare Professional Toolkit

Well on Your Way

Adolescent Transition Tools
In June 2016, the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) released A Guideline for Transition from Paediatric to Adult Healthcare for youth and young adults (ages12-25). This guideline outlines 19 recommendations for supporting patients and their families as they move from pediatric to adult healthcare.
The Transition Advisory Council at Alberta Children’s Hospital created the following guidelines to identify key tasks that healthcare providers can do to prepare their patients and families for adult healthcare:
These guidelines refer to a Transition Tracker. This tool helps healthcare providers easily track and/or document conversations they’ve had with patients and caregivers about transition and records patient’s understanding of their medical condition and self-advocacy skills. 
THRxEADS is a tool developed by experts from Toronto SickKids Hospital that complements the HEADS (Home-Education-Activity-Drugs-Sexuality) adolescent screening assessment. However, it is specific to adolescents with chronic illness and disability, and incorporates the element of transition.
Adolescent Screening Tools
Asking adolescents questions about home, lifestyle choices and safety can be uncomfortable for many healthcare professionals, due to lack of time or confidence in addressing these issues. The following resources can help strengthen your communication with patients and families. 
  • The HEEADSSS psychosocial interview for adolescents is useful for developing effective and empathetic communication with adolescents and young adults. This article also contains excellent information about the importance of providing confidential healthcare for adolescents.
  • HEADS-ED is a validated psychosocial tool developed for use in pediatric emergency departments, with planning underway to use it in primary healthcare and schools.
During the assessment and subsequent conversation you may learn things from youth that concern you. For information about resources to help you provide support to your patients, go to Resources for Healthcare Providers.


Facilitating Behaviour Change

Motivational interviewing is a communication tool based on the idea that making life changes can be difficult. Through talking, healthcare professionals can help patients resolve ambivalent feelings and barriers to changing their behavior. Simply telling a patient to change rarely works. To learn more about the stages of change as well as the why and how of motivational interviewing, watch the following YouTube videos:

To learn about courses that teach motivational interviewing, go to Education for Healthcare Providers.