Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Samuel Zizzi.


The following study assessed behavioral and psychological services currently being used by bariatric patients before and after surgery. A convenience sample of N = 380 was generated through solicitation on an online support website; inclusion criteria included having had surgery in the United States after implementation of accreditation standards in 2005. Participants completed an Internet-based survey that assessed services completed, satisfaction with services, perceived impact of surgery on mental and physical health as well as diet and physical activity behaviors, and current reported diet and physical activity behaviors. Overall, participants reported completing more services before surgery, and afterwards the most commonly reported completed services were support groups and dietary consultation; more than half of participants did not meet with either a mental health professional or exercise professional following surgery. Participants expressed high satisfaction with surgery, and perceived that surgery had a positive impact on health and health behaviors. Linear regression analysis showed that satisfaction with surgery was largely predicted by percent weight loss, though it is also possible that perceived benefits to mental and physical health also contributed to satisfaction levels. Self-reported physical activity levels were increased dramatically following surgery; however, these results must be interpreted carefully due to potential sample bias and over-reporting. Because participants in the current sample reported completing few behavioral and psychological services after surgery, it is recommended that bariatric facilities and insurance providers consider requiring patients to complete post-surgical behavioral modification programs that target improvement of diet and physical activity behaviors and overall lifestyle change.