Predictors and outcomes of adolescent bariatric support group attendance

Surg Obes Relat Dis. Sep-Oct 2013;9(5):773-9. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2013.03.016. Epub 2013 May 3.


Background: Attending support groups connects adults undergoing bariatric surgery to peers and may improve weight loss efficacy. Predictors and outcomes of support group attendance of adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery are unknown. The objective of this cohort study was to determine the rate, predictors, and outcomes of support group attendance in a free-standing adolescent bariatric program.

Methods: Charts of 68 consecutive adolescents who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or vertical sleeve gastrectomy were retrospectively reviewed, and demographic and anthropometric variables and support group and clinic visit attendance were recorded. Prospectively collected vitamin adherence data were also analyzed. Univariate analyses evaluated characteristics and multivariate analyses evaluated predictors of support group attendance, clinic visit attendance, and vitamin adherence.

Results: Of the 68 patients, one third attended 1-3 support sessions, one third attended ≥ 4, and one third were nonattenders. Greater distance from clinical center (P = .01) and caregiver bariatric history (P = .05) were associated with decreased attendance. Only high preoperative body mass index (P<.01) and caregiver bariatric history (P<.01) were independently associated with decreased attendance. Increased attendance was associated with higher 6-month (P = .03) and 12-month (P<.01) clinic visit attendance but not with multivitamin adherence (P = .33).

Conclusions: Caregiver bariatric history and higher preoperative body mass index were associated with decreasing attendance at an adolescent bariatric support group program. This highlights a need to encourage attendance in these patients, because adolescent attendance at support group sessions was positively associated with greater adherence to scheduled clinic visits postoperatively, which may positively influence long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Adherence; Adolescent bariatric surgery; Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; Sleeve gastrectomy; Support group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Bariatric Surgery / psychology*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Peer Group
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Vitamins