Mental health factors associated with progression to adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery

Elizabeth V. Franklin, Jessica Klement, Neha Mulpuri, Faisal G. Qureshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: While bariatric surgery has demonstrated significant weight loss for adolescents with severe obesity, only a limited number of adolescents referred to surgery successfully complete the surgical program. Better identification of pre-surgical factors, especially mental health factors, associated with completing bariatric surgery may determine successful referrals to surgical programs versus alternative behavioral health interventions. Objectives: The primary objective of this article was to investigate the relationship between presurgical mental health factors and whether or not a patient received bariatric surgery within the first six months of entering the program. Setting: Pediatric Children's Hospital, Bariatric Surgery Program within Pediatric Surgery Department. Methods: A retrospective medical record review of all patients referred from 2016 to 2019 to an adolescent surgical weight loss program was conducted. Patients were determined as completers if they received a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy within 6 months of entering the program. Demographic and preoperative mental health factors among completers (n = 30) were compared with surgery noncompleters (n = 44) using enter method logistic regression. Results: Regression analyses revealed that younger patients, White patients, patients with lower internalizing symptoms on a standardized measure, and patients with greater self-reported motivation for surgery at their initial surgery visit were more likely to obtain surgery within 6 months of starting the program. Conclusion: The findings underscore the importance of assessing patients’ motivation early in the bariatric surgery referral process. This study highlights potential treatment implications in how best to mitigate patient barriers, such as internalizing symptoms and low motivation, to pursue bariatric surgery and remain committed to weight loss goals through techniques such as motivational interviewing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1855-1863
Number of pages9
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Mental health
  • Obesity
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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