, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1177-1184
Date: 01 Sep 2005

Psychological Condition and Quality of Life in Patients with Morbid Obesity Before and After Surgical Weight Loss

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Background: Bariatric surgery results in significant weight loss, improvement or cure of accompanying illnesses, and may lead to important changes in psychological conditions. The aim of this paper is to study the changes in the psychological and emotional lives of patients as well as quality of life during the first 2 years after vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). Methods: The study population comprised 59 patients, 45 women (76.3%) and 14 men, between 18 and 64 years old. Patients were asked to complete an SCL-90R questionnaire before VBG. 2 years after VBG, patients were again asked to complete an SCL-90R as well as a BAROS questionnaire. Comparisons were made between loss of weight, alteration in the psychological condition and quality of life postoperatively, within the parameters of sex, age, marital status, level of education, duration of obesity and family history of obesity. Results: Women had a greater degree of depression from obesity than their male counterparts before the procedure (P=0.001), while their postoperative emotional improvement was more marked (P=0.008). The General Mental Health Index was higher in female than male patients (P=0.008). At 2 years after VBG, BMI was significantly reduced (P<0.001). Oversensitivity in personal relationships and anxiety affected patients more both pre- and postoperatively. The averages of all the indexes of the subgroups of the SCL-90R, which relates to psychological condition of patients, showed a statistically significant reduction at 2 years following VBG, indicative of the improvement of the patients' psychosomatic condition. The more weight patients lost, the more their quality of life improved, as evaluated by the BAROS (P<0.001). Conclusions: The bariatric surgery most satisfactorily improved the patients' psychosomatic condition, as well as their quality of life, during the first 2 years after VBG.