Psychological Diagnoses and Weight Loss among Appalachian Bariatric Surgery Patients

Makenzie L. Barr, Cassie Brode, Lawrence E. Tabone, Stephanie J. Cox, Melissa D. Olfert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The relationship between presurgical psychopathology and weight loss following bariatric surgery is complex; previous research has yielded mixed results. The current study investigates the relationship among presurgical mental health diagnoses, symptom severity, and weight loss outcomes in an Appalachian population, where obesity-related comorbidities are prominent. Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed on bariatric surgery patients in an accredited Appalachian centered academic hospital in northern West Virginia between 2013 and 2015 (n = 347). Data extraction included basic demographics, anthropometrics (percent excess weight loss (%EWL)) at six-month, one-year, and two-year postoperative visits, and two validated psychological questionnaires (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)) from patient's presurgical psychological evaluation. Results. Average patient population was 92.5% Caucasian, 81.5% female, 45 ± 11.5 years old, and 84.1% who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery with the remaining having laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. At baseline, no differences were detected in weight, excess body weight, or body mass index between surgery types. Average baseline BDI-II score was 10.1 ± 8.68 (range 0-41) and BAI score was 6.1 ± 6.7 (range 0-36), and this was not significantly different by surgery at baseline. Both baseline psychological scores were in the "minimal" severity range. BDI-II was positively related to BMI of patients at baseline (p=0.01). Both BDI-II and BAI were not significantly related to %EWL across follow-up. Conclusion. Other than baseline weight, BDI-II and BAI scores were not related to %EWL outcomes in patients receiving bariatric surgery in the Appalachian region. Future work should examine mixed methods approaches to capture prospective and longitudinal data to more thoroughly delve into mental health aspects of our Appalachian patients and improve efforts to recapture postoperative patients who may have been lost to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1743687
JournalJournal of Obesity
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Makenzie L. Barr et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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