Interdisciplinary behavioral intervention for life-threatening obesity in an adolescent with Prader-Willi syndrome - A case report

Natalie Vona Messersmith, Keith John Slifer, Valerie Pulbrook-Vetter, Kimberly Bellipanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate interdisciplinary behavioral rehabilitation for life-threatening obesity in an adolescent female with Prader-Willi syndrome. METHODS: Body Mass Index (BMI), supplemental oxygen requirement, mobility, and tantrums were documented. A 600 kcal per day diet, physical therapy, and exercise were implemented in an inpatient setting. A behavioral program was employed by an interdisciplinary team to ensure dietary adherence and to increase patient compliance with therapy demands. Family caregivers were trained and continued the intervention at home. RESULTS: Important improvements were achieved and maintained including weight loss, decreased need for supplemental oxygen, greater exercise tolerance, and fewer tantrums. The patient's BMI decreased from 84.3 to 59.8 during inpatient treatment, and to 41.0 at last follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Behavioral rehabilitation can be beneficial and potentially life saving for morbidly obese children with Prader-Willi syndrome, and perhaps for other obese youth with developmental or behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008



  • Adolescents
  • Behavioral intervention
  • Obesity
  • Prader-Willi syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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