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A Multisite View of Psychosocial Risks in Patients Presenting for Bariatric Surgery
Rofey DL, Zeller MH, Brode C, Reiter-Purtill J, Mikhail C, Washington G, Baughcum AE, Peugh J, Austin H, Jenkins TM, Courcoulas AP and the TeenView Writing Group in cooperation with the Teen-LABS Consortium
Obesity, 23:1218–1225, 2015

The psychosocial health of adolescents with severe obesity has only recently been the focus of empirical work. In a recent issue of the journal Obesity, Dr. Dana Rofey and her colleagues reported their findings from a multisite prospective longitudinal study of adolescents undergoing weight loss surgery (WLS).  The investigators reviewed preoperative/baseline data from 141 WLS adolescents and 83 nonsurgical comparisons, and self-report data from adolescent and caregiver dyads.

Dr. Rofey and her team found that the increased risk of psychopathology for adolescents with severe obesity was associated with family dysfunction, eating pathology, family composition, and seeking behavioral intervention (versus WLS), whereas better quality of life was associated with lower psychopathology.  They also found that a subgroup of youth who present for behavioral weight loss services are at greater risk for psychopathology relative to national adolescent base rates. Adolescents who achieve candidacy for WLS may be a highly selective population of youth with severe obesity and may have lower base rates of psychopathology compared to nonsurgical comparisons.  

Dr. Rofey and her team will continue to track these adolescent patient groups over time to document trajectories of psychosocial health in the context of weight loss outcomes. Understanding long-term physical as well as psychosocial health trajectories for WLS patients are vital to identifying critical targets and time frames for prevention and intervention efforts to optimize outcomes. 

Contributors:
Dana L. Rofey, PhD (Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh)

Anita P. Courcoulas, MD (Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh)

Meg H. Zeller, PhD, Cassie Brode, PhD, Jennifer Reiter-Purtill, PhD, James Peugh, PhD, Todd M. Jenkins, MD, MPH (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center)

Carmen Mikhail, PhD, Gia Washington, PhD (Texas Children’s Hospital)

Amy E. Baughcum, PhD (Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

Heather Austin, PhD (Children’s Hospital of Alabama) 

TeenView Writing Group in cooperation with the Teen-LABS Consortium

This article appears online in the journal Obesity.  Click here to view the abstract.