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Obes Surg. 2003 Oct;13(5):739-45.

Psychosocial factors and 2-year outcome following bariatric surgery for weight loss.

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  • 1Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic-Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



How psychosocial factors may impact on weight loss after bariatric surgery is not well understood. This lack of knowledge is problematic, because there is a high prevalence of psychosocial distress in patients seeking treatment for obesity in hospital-based programs. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between preoperative psychosocial factors and eventual weight loss.


Between 1987 and 1998, all individuals undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for weight loss in our institution had psychologic preoperative evaluations. Patients who were followed prospectively were studied. The relation of having received mental health treatment to percentage of excess weight loss at 2 years is examined using t-tests.


62 women and 18 men completed a 2-year follow-up. Patients who had received treatment for either substance abuse (n=10) or psychiatric co-morbidity (n=39) lost more weight compared with those without such histories (P<0.05, P <0.001 respectively).


Given these results, it is plausible that a history of having received either psychiatric treatment for a disorder or counseling for substance abuse should not be a contraindication to bariatric surgery, and, in fact, may be prognostic of favorable outcome. Further research examining psychosocial factors and outcome from bariatric surgery is clearly warranted.

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