Poster Topical Area: Vitamins and Minerals

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 519

P26-058 - Factors Affecting Use of Dietary Supplements Following Bariatric Surgery: A Focus Group Report

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Nutrient deficiency after bariatric surgery is a widespread problem, which occurs mainly because dietary intake is significantly reduced and because of intestinal malabsorption. Research has demonstrated that dietary supplements can prevent and treat deficiencies. Unfortunately, many patients opt out of taking the recommended dietary supplements, but the reasons for non-compliance have not been fully explored. Our objective is to explore why patients may not take the recommended dietary supplements in hopes of finding solutions to overcome these barriers.


Methods: Adults, ages 18-75 years, who have had bariatric surgery at least 2 months previously, were recruited to participate in 1 of 2 90-minute focus group sessions. A facilitator led the focus groups, and asked identical questions. Responses were written, recorded, transcribed using TranscribeMe (San Francisco CA), and analyzed using NVivo (QSR International Pty Ltd, Doncaster, Victoria).


Results: Each focus group contained women who had sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or Roux-En-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). The first focus group contained six participants (4 RYGB), while the second one had seven (4 RYGB). Participants had undergone surgery 3.7 ± 4.3 (s.d) years previously. For the participants, the biggest factor that determined taking supplements was cost, followed by tolerance (associated with adverse effects such as nausea, constipation, stomach pain and dumping syndrome, and palatability such as taste, texture and size of supplement). Other commonly expressed issues were participants' lack of knowledge and conflicting information from healthcare providers. Lastly, participants expressed difficulty finding time and inconvenience as factors.


Conclusions: Strategies for improving compliance to supplementation should address the barriers encountered by bariatric surgery patients, such as high costs, poor tolerability and palatability, lack of clarity regarding recommendations and incompatibility with busy lifestyles.




Funding Source: Cura Global Health Inc

CoAuthors: Zoraida DeFreitas, PhD – Cura Global Health; Yilin Bian, PhD – Cura Global Health; Nana Gletsu-Miller, PhD – Purdue

Haley Snell-Sparapany

Graduate Student
Purdue Nutrition Science
West Lafayette, Indiana