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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;30(6):474-479. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000359.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and predictors of weight loss in bariatric surgery patients.

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aPsyQ, Parnassia Psychiatric Institute, The Hague bPsyQ, Parnassia Psychiatric Institute, Rotterdam cDepartment of Psychology, Education and Child Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam dParnassia Psychiatric Institute, The Hague eDepartment of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands fDepartment of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, New York, USA.



Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. However, 20-30% of patients undergoing bariatric surgery experience premature weight stabilization or weight regain postoperatively. We report on the recent literature of predictors of weight loss and the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in bariatric patients.


Preoperative disordered eating behaviors do not appear to be significantly predictive of postoperative weight loss. Postoperative disordered eating behaviors, eating disorders, and depressive symptoms have been found to be associated with less optimal weight loss results. Recent studies show that CBT can contribute in reducing disordered eating behaviors and depressive symptoms. Some studies also show that pre and postoperative CBT interventions can promote weight loss. New applications of CBT such as by telephone, internet, or virtual reality might contribute to more accessible and low-cost treatments for the large group of bariatric patients worldwide.


CBT seems to be effective in reducing risk factors for weight regain after bariatric surgery, such as disordered eating behavior and depression. Controlled studies with long-term follow-up and larger sample sizes are needed to investigate the long-term effect of CBT interventions on weight loss results and psychological well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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