Adolescent bariatric surgery: a qualitative exploratory study of US patient perspectives

J. E. Childerhose, I. Eneli, K. E. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective intervention to treat severe obesity and related comorbidities in adolescents. No qualitative studies have explored the perspectives of US adolescent weight-loss patients on their bariatric surgery motivations, decision-making or experiences. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory study was to explore the perspectives of adolescent patients seeking bariatric surgery while enrolled in a medical weight management programme. Eligible participants 13-21 years old were recruited through a weight management programme at a tertiary care children's hospital in the US Midwest. Interviews were conducted remotely using a video chat medium. An initial 60-min semi-structured interview was conducted with seven participants who were 16-21 years old: one deciding on bariatric surgery, one pre-operative and five post-operative. A brief follow-up interview was conducted 1 month later with four participants. Interviews were transcribed and coded using Atlas.ti software. Three broad themes emerged from participants' reflections: the long journey to surgery, time scarcity and be ready for change. The decision to pursue bariatric surgery takes place after struggling with obesity and failed weight-loss attempts since early childhood. Post-operative participants described bariatric surgery as life-changing, but determining when to schedule surgery is a challenge for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Adolescent
  • bariatric surgery
  • decision-making
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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