Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2016


Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Wayne Paris

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Sarah Culver

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Bonnie Jenkins


Approximately 1,500 infants born in the United States each year are diagnosed with Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a congenital disorder that affects the spinal cord and neurological function. Improved medical treatment has allowed a longer life expectancy for patients with Spina Bifida, and an increasing rate of these patients are surviving through pediatric clinics and preparing for the transition into adult care. Although the number of patients preparing for the transition into adult care continues to increase, there continues to be a scarcity of literature relevant to this population. Furthermore, there is currently no systematic, evidence-based method that reliably assists young adults with a successful transition and long-term health maintenance. This study seeks to fill that gap in literature and provide suggestions for better informed social work evidence-based practice. Existing data from 46 patients in a transitional urology clinic at a pediatric hospital in the southwestern United States was used in this current study. Participants were asked to complete three questionnaires addressing their transition readiness level, quality of life (QoL), and sexual function. Demographic information was collected by the clinic social worker during the patient’s clinic visit. Appropriate parametric and nonparametric analyses on transition readiness and quality of life were completed with the latest version of SPSS. Female participants tend to report themselves as mastering more skills to independently maintain their health than males. Participants identified physical barriers as the most significant limitation associated with their condition.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Social Work Commons



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