Bariatric Surgery – Patient Characteristics : Behavioral and Psychological


According to researchers from the Oslo Bariatric Surgery Study (OBSS), people who chose bariatric surgery over conventional weight loss methods were more positive, had stronger beliefs in their ability to achieve the intended outcomes.

It was known in the past that one’s mental characteristics can contribute to the success of a bariatric surgery. Studies from the past that had looked at the psychological dissimilarities between patients who chose between surgical and nonsurgical means to weight loss had focused on aspects such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and such and their most consistent finding was that surgical patients had reported high levels of depression symptoms than the nonsurgical patients.
This study was aimed at the comparison of patients who have been scheduled for bariatric surgery with those patients who are undergoing conventional treatment methods for morbid obesity where the comparison measured their psychosocial and behavioral aspects that were considered to be predictors of their acceptance and adaptation to long-term lifestyle alterations. The study measured baselines to characters such as motivation, goal attainment etc.

The data that was used for the study came from OBSS, a prospective one on the two groups (ones undergoing conservative means and ones scheduled for bariatric surgery) of patients over a 10-year span. The focus was on the identification of psychosocial predictors of changes in behavior and also on weight loss maintenance.The BMI of subjects were 40+ or 35+ with comorbidity.
Physical activity, unhealthy eating habits, and alcohol consumption are a few aspects to mention, from the many that were studied. Studies on one’s motivation to weight loss were also carried out. The study also included many food-related behavioral aspects. The subjects in the study were patients from the Center for Morbid Obesity and Bariatric Surgery at Oslo University Hospital, between February 2011 and September 2013.

In a capsule, the surgical patients were observed to show more signs of depression that the other group. They also had fewer episodes of binge eating. However, on the other side, they were more resilient, structured and also were more realistic in their life orientation. The researchers also found that this group ranked higher on factors that were believed to be central to the aspects of initiation and the maintenance of behavior change. The conclusion was drawn by the researchers calling for research projects in the future that would study the reaction of interventions for bariatric patients promoting physical activity after surgery and realistic post-surgery expectations.

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