Psychosocial Correlates and Changes Post-Bariatric Surgery
Detschner, Angela M.
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Obesity is a major health problem in the United States and bariatric surgery has become a popular means of treatment. A great deal of research has examined weight loss, physical health, and psychosocial changes post-bariatric surgery. Research has demonstrated generally positive outcomes in these domains as a result of the dramatic weight loss post-bariatric surgery; however, due to discrepancies in the literature, the extent to which these factors associate with one another to impact post-surgical outcomes is unclear. Further, little is known about the patient’s subjective post-surgical experience. Therefore, this mixed-method study sought to investigate relationships between psychosocial outcomes post-bariatric surgery, specifically, anxiety, depression, substance use, disordered eating behaviors, social support and interpersonal relationships, and weight change. Results demonstrated a significant and predictive relationship of general social support on depressive and anxious symptomatology. Non-significant results were found for the relationships between social support and disordered eating, weight regain, and substance use. An uncontrolled eating style was significantly related to weight regain, and the relationship between emotional eating and weight regain approached significance. Qualitative data provides depth to these relationships and the psychosocial experiences of bariatric patients. Future directions and suggestion for the field are made.