A systematic review of satisfaction and pediatric obesity treatment: new avenues for addressing attrition

J Healthc Qual. 2014 Jul-Aug;36(4):5-22. doi: 10.1111/jhq.12003. Epub 2013 Feb 15.


Pediatric obesity treatment programs report high attrition rates, but it is unknown if family experience and satisfaction contributes. This review surveys the literature regarding satisfaction in pediatric obesity and questions used in measurement. A systematic review of the literature was conducted using Medline, PsychINFO, and CINAHL. Studies of satisfaction in pediatric weight management were reviewed, and related studies of obesity were included. Satisfaction survey questions were obtained from the articles or from the authors. Eighteen studies were included; 14 quantitative and 4 qualitative. Only one study linked satisfaction to attrition, and none investigated the association of satisfaction and weight outcomes. Most investigations included satisfaction as a secondary aim or used single-item questions of overall satisfaction; only one assessed satisfaction in noncompleters. Overall, participants expressed high levels of satisfaction with obesity treatment or prevention programs. Surveys focused predominantly on overall satisfaction or specific components of the program. Few in-depth studies of satisfaction with pediatric obesity treatment have been conducted. Increased focus on family satisfaction with obesity treatment may provide an avenue to lower attrition rates and improve outcomes. Enhancing measurement of satisfaction to yield actionable responses could positively influence outcomes, and a framework, via patient-centered care principles, is provided.

Keywords: family involvement; patient satisfaction; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Patient Dropouts / psychology*
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy*
  • Personal Satisfaction*