PURPOSE: LIFEspan is a service delivery model of continuous coordinated care developed and implemented by a cross-organization partnership between a pediatric and an adult rehabilitation hospital. Previous work explored enablers and barriers to establishing the partnership service. This paper examines healthcare professionals' (HCPs') experiences of 'real world' service delivery aimed at supporting transitional rehabilitative care for youth with disabilities.
METHODS: This qualitative study – part of an ongoing mixed method longitudinal study – elicited HCPs' perspectives on their experiences of LIFEspan service delivery through in-depth interviews. Data were categorized into themes of service delivery activities, then interpreted from the lens of a service integration/coordination framework.
RESULTS: Five main service delivery themes were identified: 1) addressing youth's transition readiness and capacities; 2) shifting responsibility for healthcare management from parents to youth; 3) determining services based on organizational resources; 4) linking between pediatric and adult rehabilitation services; and, 5) linking with multi-sector services.
CONCLUSIONS: LIFEspan contributed to service delivery activities that coordinated care for youth and families and integrated inter-hospital services. However, gaps in service integration with primary care, education, social, and community services limited coordinated care to the rehabilitation sector. Recommendations are made to enhance service delivery using a systems/sector-based approach.