Explore UAB

Connect With Us Subscribe to newsletter
Connect With Us Subscribe to newsletter
2017 Spina Bifida News Article Lead ImageThe UAB Transitional Spina Bifida Clinic, supported by the Department of Neurosurgery and run in collaboration with Children’s of Alabama, developed the Individualized Care Model for Transitional Care in Spina Bifida to address the unique needs of spina bifida patients during their transition from pediatric to adult healthcare.

Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect that affects the spine and occurs when the neural tube doesn’t fully close during fetal development, causing the backbone that protects the spinal cord to form improperly. This often results in physical and intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe. 

Transitioning from pediatric to adult spina bifida care can be challenging for patients and their families. In pediatric care, parents and caregivers are often heavily involved in the healthcare process. However, as patients transition to adult care, they may need to take on more responsibility by building relationships with adult healthcare providers and navigating the healthcare system independently, which can be overwhelming.

“While some patients are resistant to change, there is another group who are tired of seeing cartoon characters on the wall and are ready to go to an adult facility, be treated like an adult and begin taking ownership of their own health care,” said Betsy Hopson, Comprehensive Spina Bifida Program Coordinator.

Spina bifida is a complex condition and every patient with spina bifida is unique and requires individualized care that addresses their specific needs.

UAB’s Individualized Care Model for Transitional Care in Spina Bifida involves a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers who work together to create a care plan tailored to each patient's needs to ensure that patients with spina bifida receive the best possible care, not just in childhood, but throughout their entire lives.

As a patient’s 21st birthday approaches, a care coordinator from Children’s of Alabama will initiate the pediatric to adult care transition process by scheduling a visit at the UAB Adult Spina Bifida Clinic, which meets each month at the Spain Rehabilitation Center. 

To learn more about, make a referral to, or schedule an appointment with the Comprehensive Spina Bifida Program at Children’s of Alabama, contact Betsy Hopson at:

Fax: 205-638-6128
Email: betsy.hopson@childrensal.org

To make an appointment with the UAB Adult Spina Bifida Clinic, please call 205-934-4131. Referring providers may fax their records to 205-996-7887.

Learn more about the UAB and Children’s of Alabama Lifetime Care Model.