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Journal Article

The association of interpersonal relationships and social support with early post-surgery weight loss -conference paper abstract-


Publication date

Mar 2016


Background: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective weight-loss treatment for patients with severe obesity, however post-surgery weight loss is highly variable. We hypothesized that social support and good quality interpersonal relationships would impact upon the patient’s ability to make required changes to eating behaviour and lifestyle post-surgery and thus impact upon weight loss. Methods: Between November 2014 and June 2015 patients (scheduled to undergo primary sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) were invited to participate and informed consent was obtained. Patients completed a questionnaire that included questions on employment status, education level, self-esteem, social support and interpersonal relationships quality and quantity. Anthropometric data were collected at 4 and 12 weeks post-surgery and percentage weight loss (%WL) calculated. Descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA tests were carried out on 142 patients using statistical programme STATA 13. Results: Pre-surgery mean body mass index (BMI) was 45.2 kg/m2, and decreased to 41.2 kg/m2 at 4 weeks, and 38.4 kg/m2 at 12 weeks post-surgery. Pre-surgery BMI was negatively associated with marital satisfaction, p=0.02 and satisfaction with the closest person (p<0.01) and positively with the number of friends seen per month (p=0.04).%WL at 4 weeks post-surgery was associated with employment status (employed 9.4% vs. unemployed 7.8%, p<0.01), seeing more friends per month (none 6.8% vs. 6 and more friends 9.6%, p=0.03) and emotional support (p=0.05). Emotional support was also marginally positively associated with %WL at 3 months (p=0.05). Conclusion: The quality and quantity of interpersonal relationships is associated with early post-surgery weight loss and suggest that optimizing patient support post-surgery might enhance weight loss. Future analyses will include additional time points of 6 and 12 months as well as an analysis of the trajectories of weight loss by baseline social support and marital status.

Published in

British Journal of Surgery

Volume and page numbers

103 , 1 -25





Social Networks, Medicine, Health, and Social Psychology


University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* -


Abstracts of the 7th BOMSS Annual Scientific Meeting, 28 – 29 January 2016, City Hall, Cardiff, UK


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