Likeness in the Lived Experience: A Constructive Heuristic Study on Adolescents Undergoing a Health Care Transition in Renal Transplant Clinics

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Laker, Abigail
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Health Care Transitions (HCT) between pediatric and adult care have been an ongoing focus within the health care community especially for adolescent patients living with chronic illness and disease. This thesis focused on HCT for the specific population of renal transplant recipients. Transitioning literature was reviewed concluding that publications remain sparse for transitional care models specific to Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with kidney transplants; despite literature supporting the need to address the psychosocial needs within the vulnerable population. The heuristic nature of this study aimed to explore the lived experience of Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA) living with a kidney transplant while they prepared to navigate the adult healthcare system by implementing art therapy into a renal transplant clinic for adolescents and young adults. A body outline art directive offered the co-researchers a form of nonverbal communication to expand self-awareness of emotions. Self-awareness of emotions encourages autonomy; for this reason, the use of art therapy to evaluate and improve the AYAs self-worth could promote resilience and coping ability for AYA renal transplant recipients.