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Psychol Health Med. 2010 Mar;15(2):188-97. doi: 10.1080/13548501003615282.

Psychosocial predictors of intentions to comply with bariatric surgery guidelines.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. abbe.boeka@yale.edu

Abstract

An increasing body of research suggests that many patients have difficulty adopting the eating guidelines after weight-loss surgery, thereby reducing the long-term success of the procedure. Given such difficulties, it is possible that the typical preoperative education regarding post-surgical eating behavior guidelines is ineffective in motivating some individuals to comply. Presently, no accurate predictors of intentions to comply with post-bariatric surgery guidelines have been identified. In the present pilot study, a psychosocial intervention based on protection motivation theory (PMT) was presented to patients undergoing bariatric surgery. PMT is a well-established preventive health model that has been utilized in a variety of health domains. Participants for this study were recruited before undergoing bariatric surgery, and were randomly assigned to one of two groups: PMT group vs. control. In addition to routine messages from the bariatric surgeon, participants in the PMT group received an intervention based in PMT that focused on the importance of adhering to post-surgical eating behavior guidelines and how best to adhere to these guidelines. Participants in the control group received standard of care information from the bariatric surgeon. Results indicated that the PMT intervention did not have a significant impact. However, follow-up analyses revealed that two aspects of PMT, perceived self-efficacy and perceived threat of not following the guidelines, predicted patients' intentions to comply with post-surgical guidelines. Findings are discussed in terms of the methodological compromises that resulted from the applied research setting as well as promising avenues for future investigation.

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