Translational aspects of body image research for obesity-related quality of life and weight loss maintenance post-bariatric surgery

Marie L. Caltabiano


Background: The Aim of the study was to examine obesity health-related quality of life and body image satisfaction in a group of individuals having undergone bariatric surgery.
Methods: One hundred and forty-two persons who had undergone bariatric surgery answered an online survey which included measures of well-being and body image. The Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire-Appearance Scales (MBSRQ-AS 34) was used to assess body image in relation to appearance evaluation (AE), appearance orientation (AO), overweight preoccupation (OP), self-classified weight (SCW), and body areas satisfaction (BASS). Obesity-related quality of life was assessed with the obesity related well-being scale (Orwell 97).
Results: Hierarchical multiple regression indicated that 50.2% of the variance in well-being post-surgery was explained by body image variables [F(6,84) =18.54, P<0.01], with the strongest predictor being satisfaction with body areas (B=−0.360, P<0.01). Regression analysis of the data for the group of patients who had received the vertical sleeve surgery was also significant, [F(6,56) =10.16, P<0.001] with satisfaction with different body areas being the best predictor of well-being (B=−0.365, P<0.05), followed by OP (B=0.313, P<0.05) and SCW (B=0.281, P<0.05).
Conclusions: Body image concerns are more important predictors for well-being post bariatric surgery than weight lost. Psychological factors such as the perception of body areas, continued weight preoccupation and SCW rather an objective weight were better predictors of well-being, symptoms that impacted on well-being and on the subjective relevance of the symptoms to well-being. Recommendations for the translation of the present research findings for the surgical preparation of the bariatric patient and for post-surgery care are suggested.