Obesity Surgery

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 730–737

Psychiatric Disorders and Participation in Pre- and Postoperative Counselling Groups in Bariatric Surgery Patients

  • Haldis Ø. Lier
  • Eva Biringer
  • Bjarte Stubhaug
  • Hege R. Eriksen
  • Tone Tangen
Clinical Research



Psychological and behavioural factors seem to influence the results of bariatric surgery and the ability to achieve sustained weight loss and subjective wellbeing after the operation. Adequate pre- and postoperative psychological counselling are suggested to improve the results of surgery. However, some patients are reluctant to participate in pre- and postoperative counselling. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible influence of psychiatric disorders on willingness to participate in group counselling in patients accepted for bariatric surgery.


One hundred and forty-one patients referred to bariatric surgery (F/M: 103/38) with mean body mass index (BMI) of 45.2 kg/m2 (SD = 5.3) and mean age of 42.0 years (SD = 10.4) were interviewed with Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) and Structured Clinical Interview (SCID-II) preoperatively.


The overall prevalence of current psychiatric disorders was 49%. Thirty-one percent did not want to participate in counselling groups. Patients who were unwilling to participate in counselling groups had significantly higher prevalence of social phobia (32%/ 12%, p = 0.006) and avoidant personality disorder (27%/ 12%, p = 0.029) than patients who agreed to participate.


Psychiatric disorders are prevalent among candidates for bariatric surgery. Social phobia and avoidant personality disorder seem to influence the willingness to participate in counselling groups. Individual counselling and/or web-based counselling might be recommended for bariatric surgery patients who are reluctant to participate in group counselling.


Bariatric surgery Psychiatric disorders Social phobia Counselling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haldis Ø. Lier
    • 1
  • Eva Biringer
    • 1
  • Bjarte Stubhaug
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hege R. Eriksen
    • 2
  • Tone Tangen
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Mental Health ResearchHaugesund Hospital, Helse Fonna HFHaugesundNorway
  2. 2.HEMIL Research Centre for Health Promotion, Unifob HealthUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Section of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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