Predictors and outcomes of adolescent bariatric support group attendance

Payal Sawhney, Avani C. Modi, Todd M. Jenkins, Margaret H. Zeller, Linda M. Kollar, Thomas H. Inge, Stavra A. Xanthakos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-779
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Adolescent bariatric surgery
  • Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Support group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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