Send to

Choose Destination
Child Obes. 2011 Jun 20;7(3):185-193.

Attrition in a Multidisciplinary Pediatric Weight Management Clinic.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.



Pediatric weight management clinics experience significant dropout, and few studies have investigated this problem. The objective of this study was to identify family and clinic characteristics associated with attrition from a tertiary care pediatric weight management clinic.


This was a prospective and retrospective clinical database study of a multidisciplinary clinic for obese children 2-18 years with a weight-related co-morbidity. All patients seen between November, 2007, and July, 2009, were included. Characteristics of Active and Inactive families were compared using chi-squared and t-tests, and logistic regression was used to identify independent correlates of program status. A one-page survey was mailed to all Inactive families.


A total of 133 patients were seen during the study period. Their mean age was 12 years old, mean BMI was 38 kg/m(2), 53% were female, 52% represented racial/ethnic minorities, and 50% were Medicaid recipients. In all, 32% dropped out of treatment. Inactive children had significantly lower BMI z-scores, were older, and were more likely to have poor school performance than active children. Similar results were found on regression analysis: Children with higher BMI z-scores, commercial insurance, average school performance, and a major weight-related co-morbidity were less likely to be inactive. The most common parent-reported reasons for dropping out were: Child not wanting to make changes, weight not improving, child desired to leave program, and program not meeting parent or child's expectations.


Attrition from pediatric weight management treatment is high, with age, weight, school performance, and health associated with dropout. Parents mostly reported child-related issues, including lack of weight loss, as reasons for dropout.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center