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Obes Rev. 2011 Feb;12(2):142-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00720.x.

Is social support associated with greater weight loss after bariatric surgery?: a systematic review.

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Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Social support may be associated with increased weight loss after bariatric surgery. The objective of this article is to determine impact of post-operative support groups and other forms of social support on weight loss after bariatric surgery. MEDLINE search (1988-2009) was completed using MeSH terms including bariatric procedures and a spectrum of patient factors with potential relationship to weight loss outcomes. Of the 934 screened studies, 10 reported on social support and weight loss outcomes. Five studies reported on support groups and five studies reported on other forms of social support (such as perceived family support or number of confidants) and degree of post-operative weight loss (total n = 735 patients). All studies found a positive association between post-operative support groups and weight loss. One study found a positive association between marital status (being single) and weight loss, while three studies found a non-significant positive trend and one study was inconclusive. Support group attendance after bariatric surgery is associated with greater post-operative weight loss. Further research is necessary to determine the impact of other forms of social support. These factors should be addressed in prospective studies of weight loss following bariatric surgery, as they may represent ways to improve post-operative outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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