Pre- and Postoperative Psychological Characteristics in Morbidly Obese Patients
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Background: Quality of life is poor in morbidly obese patients, because of impaired physical and psychosocial functioning. Surgical treatment offers long-term weight reduction and amelioration of most associated comorbidities. Studies of the effect of weight loss on patients' mental well-being are required, because discrimination and psychopathologic consequences represent a heavy burden. Patients and Methods: 53 patients were interviewed 48 hours before vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) by the psychiatric team and completed the self-administered SCL-90-R questionnaire. Correlations of patients' age, educational level, employment, duration of obesity and family conditions were investigated and compared with the degree of obesity 10-12 months postoperatively. 35 patients returned to psychiatric follow-up and completed the same questionnaire, and the various psychopathologic characteristics were compared to the preoperative ones. Results: Females had statistically significant higher scores in all psychopathologic parameters studied; more obvious differences were seen in depression (P <0.001), paranoid ideation (P <0.001) and interpersonal sensitivity (P <0.001). Correlations of several demographic characteristics with the patients' preoperative BMI were negative. 10-12 months following VBG, statistically significant improvement in the parameters of phobic anxiety, obsessions-compulsions, paranoid ideation and interpersonal sensitivity (P <0.05) were found. Conclusion: Pre-existing psychopathology was more obvious among females, and improved significantly following successful weight loss 1 year postoperatively.
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