Barriers to Adolescents’ Adherence to Medical Advice after Metabolic Bariatric Surgery: A Statistical Analysis

Evia Shellac, Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Iris Shachar-Lavie, Arie Hadas, Adi Sela, Irit Halifa-Kurzman, Adi Bar-Eyal, Shlomit Shalitin, Dragan Kravarusic, Osher Cohen, Simona Tyroler, Orly Lavan, Silvana Fennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adolescent obesity has markedly increased worldwide, and metabolic bariatric surgery is an effective treatment option. A major predictor of the outcomes of this procedure is adherence to post-surgery lifestyle changes and medical recommendations. While adolescents generally have more difficulty adhering to medical advice than adults, their failure to do so could adversely affect their physical and psychological health, the cost-effectiveness of medical care, and the results of clinical trials. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to identify the characteristics associated with the adherence of adolescents and their families to medical advice after bariatric surgery. Methods: We investigated potential variables influencing adherence to medical advice in adolescents diagnosed with severe obesity enrolled in a nutritional and behavior-oriented bariatric program—a 3-month pre-surgical outpatient intervention and a 6-month post-surgical follow-up. The program monitored weight, program attendance, diet compliance, lifestyle changes, and daily activities. All participants and parents completed a standard battery of questionnaires, provided demographic information, and participated in a semi-structured interview about their lifestyle. Results: The study group consisted of 47 adolescents: 34 girls and 13 boys, aged 13–18 years. Over time, three groups emerged with different degrees of adherence—high, low, and delayed low adherence. The analyses showed that adolescents’ depression, autonomy, and independence from their family had strong, significant effects on adherence across the groups. Conclusions: Using adherence typologies, practitioners may be able to identify, predict, and tailor interventions to improve adolescent adherence to post-surgery recommendations. Parents have an important role in ensuring that adolescents undergoing metabolic bariatric surgery follow medical advice after the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1762
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 19 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • adherence
  • adolescents
  • autonomy
  • family activities
  • metabolic bariatric surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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