Psychological risk may influence drop-out prior to bariatric surgery.
Factors necessitating a delay before psychological clearance for bariatric surgery have been previously identified; however, research has not examined why patients who begin the preoperative evaluation fail to complete surgery or drop-out of bariatric programs. This study sought to explore the potential psychosocial reasons for a failure to reach bariatric surgery. The setting was an academic medical center.
Data were analyzed from 129 patients psychologically evaluated for bariatric surgery who had failed to reach surgery after 15 months. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, body mass index, and psychiatric variables.
The most common reasons for not reaching surgery included withdrawal from the program, outstanding program requirements, self-canceled surgery, moving out of the area, insurance denial, switching to non-surgical weight management, or death. Patients with outstanding program requirements were psychosocially different from patients who had not achieved surgery for other reasons. They were significantly more likely to be involved in outpatient behavioral health treatment (chi-square = 12.90, P < .05), to be taking psychotropic medications (chi-square = 15.17, P < .05), and to have met the criteria for current or past alcohol abuse/dependence (chi-square = 23.70, P < .01), and there was a trend for previous inpatient hospitalizations (chi-square = 11.59, P < .07).
Patients who failed to complete outstanding program requirements often had significant psychiatric and/or substance abuse/dependence issues that required additional treatment. It is possible that these patients drop-out of the program due to unwillingness to complete psychiatric treatment recommendations. Continued screening of high-risk patients and the education of patients on the importance of managing these risks is indicated. However, patients may choose to leave programs once education has been provided or treatment mandated.
Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceSurgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery 8:4 pg 463-9
Pub Type(s)Journal Article