Background/Objective:The present study evaluated the mental health and psychological functioning of bariatric patients before surgery, and after 1 year and 10 year follow-ups, and compared them with participants in a dietary program. Such long follow-up is rare, but strongly recommended by the American Association of Bariatric Surgeons.Subjects/Methods:Thirty-six bariatric surgery patients and 34 participants of a weight loss program were weighed and assessed at all 3 points in time. Participants were administered the mental health inventory, neuroticism, sense of control and fear of intimacy scales. Along with these mental and psychological measurements, the medical outcome short form (SF-36) was used.Results:The surgery group achieved successful weight loss outcomes (27% reduction of pre-operative weight) after 10 years and better than baseline health-related quality-of-life scores. However, their general mental health, neuroticism, sense of control and fear of intimacy scores showed significant deterioration in comparison to pre-operative levels after 10 years. The dietary group participants remained psychologically stable among all three points in time.Conclusions:This study highlights the importance of identifying a risk group among bariatric patients for which the dietary and psychological follow-up may be of special significance.
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