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The first two weeks following bariatric surgery, starting with the hospital course, are often predictive of successful healthy habits for adolescents. As such, this exploratory study aimed to assess the relationship between mood, pain, activity, and intake in the first two weeks post bariatric surgery, with additional follow up to six weeks.


Post-bariatric surgery, 10 participants received text messages three times a day for two weeks and once per week for four subsequent weeks to complete structured questions related to mood, pain, intake and activity. They also qualitatively reported any barriers to success.


Thirty-one patients were recruited with ten consenting and nine completing the six weeks. Participants had an average age of 17, and were mostly female, and Hispanic/Latine. In weeks 1-2, high adherence to nutritional recommendations (M=8.94, SD=2.24) was noted with slight decreases in weeks 3-6 (M=8.82, SD=1.99). Medication adherence slightly increased in weeks 3-6 (M=8.91, SD=1.51), compared to weeks 1-2 (M=8.76, SD=2.49). In weeks 1-2, low levels of worry (M=2.06, SD=1.29) were noted which decreased in weeks 3-6 (M=1.45, SD=1.21). In weeks 1-2 sadness was marginally elevated (M=2.27, SD=1.69), and slightly increased in weeks 3-6 (M=2.36, SD=2.56). Of participants reporting impacted mood, pain was the most common reason; however, reports of pain decreased in weeks 3-6 post-bariatric surgery.


This exploratory study sought to begin understanding relationships between key behaviors in the immediate weeks following bariatric surgery. A greater understanding of potentially modifiable behaviors is critical to increasing the success of youth following bariatric surgery.