Assessment of Mental Health Services and Delivery Systems offered To Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Performance

Date of Award

Summer 2013


Numerous researchers have investigated the practicality of mental health services in aiding weight loss surgery patients. The results of these studies have linked various behavior models and psychiatric treatments to a patient's weight loss success or failure. Most weight loss surgery programs and insurances require some form of preoperative counseling, but the parameters and timing of the prescribed therapy may be vague. No universal form of counseling or therapy is available to help patients prepare for their weight loss surgery or the experiences they may face after surgery. The purpose of this study was to assess the viability of various mental health services and delivery systems in aiding weight loss surgery patients. In addition the researcher hoped to determine which delivery systems were most beneficial: preoperative, postoperative, or both. Participants included 40 post- bariatric surgery patients from two medical centers who were currently attending a post-surgical support group. Participants were surveyed regarding their pre- and post-surgical counseling, therapies, and treatments. In addition, the patients' current (postoperative) psychological status was evaluated. The conclusions of the study were that participants who received pre-surgical therapy reported moderate weight loss while participants who received post- and/or pre- and post-surgical therapy only reported marginal weight loss. Support groups led by a registered nurse and/or dietitian were found to be the most helpful both pre-and post-surgically. One-on-one therapy by a therapist was only deemed to be beneficial pre-surgically. Pre- and post-therapy internet support groups were not found to be helpful by participants. Further research is recommended using a larger participant pool with a more explicit definition of the various modes of therapy.


Tara Tietjen-Smith

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences