Characterization of the improvement in depressive symptoms following bariatric surgery

Melissa Hayden, John Dixon, Maureen Dixon, Tracey Shea, Paul O'Brien

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) has been frequently employed as a measure of depression in studies of obesity, with the majority of studies reporting an improvement in scores following weight loss. Given the potential similarity in obesity-related and depressive symptoms, it is uncertain whether all components of depression would improve equally with weight loss. Method: The study included obese patients who had undergone laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgery and had completed BDIs at baseline and 1 year after surgery. Two groups of patients were included, a general background group (Na??=a??191, mean agea??=a??41a??A?a??9, mean BMIa??=a??43a??A?a??8) and a group identified as experiencing elevated depressive symptoms based on BDI scores a?Y23 (EDS group; (Na??=a??67, mean agea??=a??40a??A?a??9, mean BMIa??=a??45a??A?a??7). Results: Overall, BDI scores fell for both groups, background group at baseline 17a??A?a??9a??8a??A?a??7 at 1 year and for the EDS group at baseline 30a??A?a??5a??14a??A?a??10 at 1 year. Patient scores on the negative self-attitude subscale were significantly greater than the two other subscales and showed the greatest improvement 1 year following LAGB. Preexisting antidepressant therapy had little or no association on the BDI scores or on its change following weight loss. Conclusion: High rates of depression are continually reported in obesity, as is a remarkable decrease in depressive symptoms following weight loss. Negative attitudes towards onea??s self appears to be driving elevated BDI scores rather than the overlap in physical symptoms between obesity and depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328 - 335
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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