Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D.
Paula M. Trief, Ph.D.
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Health Psychology | Other Psychology | Psychology
Background: Bariatric weight loss surgeries are an increasingly popular last resort option for obese individuals attempting to lose weight. Though these surgeries often produce substantial weight loss outcomes, especially in a short-term follow-up period, many individuals that undergo these procedures are unable to achieve long-term weight loss success. Within the bariatric surgery literature several psychological variables have been implicated in this long-term failure to maintain weight loss. Purpose: This study was designed to assess the effects of psychological variables on weight loss success after surgery through a meta-analytic review. Methods: The effect sizes from 10 studies were calculated and combined to determine the overall effect size across the data pool. The variables of depression and anxiety were isolated to determine the effect size within this narrower subset of studies. A test of homogeneity was performed to determine the extent to which the overall effect was representative of the findings across studies. Results: No significant relationship was found between pre-surgical general psychopathology and weight loss (r=.082, p=.122). A small non-significant positive correlation was found between pre-surgical anxiety and depression and weight loss (r=.177, p=.13). Both data sets were found to be heterogeneous (general psychopathology: Q=19.15, p=.024, I^2=52.99; anxiety/depression: Q=8.34, p=.04, I^2=64.01). Conclusions: The results indicate that pre-surgical psychopathology is not predictive of weight loss success after bariatric surgery. Given the lack of standardized test data for psychopathology prior to these surgeries and given the poor quality of data reporting in the existing literature, we recommend further investigation in this field using validated instruments, especially concerning anxiety and depression.
Thompson, Elizabeth C., "Psychological Predictors of Success in Bariatric Surgery Patients: A Meta-Analytic Review" (2007). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 581.
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