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Obes Surg. 2004 Oct;14(9):1148-56.

Psychiatric diagnoses and psychiatric treatment among bariatric surgery candidates.

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  • 1Weight and Eating Disorders Program, Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309, USA.



This study investigated the psychiatric diagnoses and psychiatric treatment histories of 90 bariatric surgery candidates.


Prior to surgery, all participants completed the Weight and Lifestyle Inventory, the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Participants also underwent a behavioral/psychological evaluation with a psychologist, which reviewed responses to the measures and provided further assessment of participants' psychiatric status. The evaluation also was used to produce a recommendation on the patients' psychological appropriateness for surgery.


Almost two-thirds of patients received a psychiatric diagnosis, the most common of which was major depressive disorder. Nearly two-fifths of all participants, and more than half of those given a psychiatric diagnosis, were engaged in some form of psychiatric treatment at the time of the evaluation. Nevertheless, 64% of patients were unconditionally approved for surgery; 31% were recommended for additional psychiatric or nutritional counseling prior to surgery. Three patients were not recommended for surgery.


Results of this study provide important information on the preoperative psychiatric status and treatment histories of bariatric surgery candidates. Given the increasing population of bariatric surgery patients, evaluation of patients' preoperative psychiatric status may play an important role in maximizing successful postoperative outcomes.

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