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01-28-2020 | Adolescents | News

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Mental health continuing issue for adolescents after bariatric surgery

Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews: Adolescents who undergo bariatric surgery do not as a rule experience resolution of mental health problems, say researchers.

Bariatric surgery did have some positive mental health effects, with the 81 recipients reporting, on average, “small but significant improvements” for the measures of self-esteem and activation over the following 5 years.

They also had significant improvements in binge eating, emotional and uncontrolled eating, and cognitive restraint, report Kajsa Järvholm (Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden) and study co-authors.

But the proportion of surgical patients with any psychiatric diagnosis increased, as was also the case in a matched group of 80 adolescents who received conventional care. The prevalence of these diagnoses increased from a baseline of 20% and 18% in the surgical and nonsurgical groups, respectively, to 36% and 21% at 5 years. The most common new diagnoses were depressive episode and emotionally unstable personality disorder.

“[L]ong-term alleviation of mental health problems should not be expected, and adolescents and their caregivers should be given realistic expectations in advance of embarking on a surgical pathway,” write the researchers in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

“A multidisciplinary team should offer long-term mental health support after adolescent bariatric surgery.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020; doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30024-9

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