A Review of Psychological Assessment Instruments for Use in Bariatric Surgery Evaluations

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Abstract

Bariatric surgery is a viable treatment option for patients with extreme obesity and associated medical comorbidities; however, optimal surgical outcomes are not universal. Surgical societies, such as the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), recommend that patients undergo a presurgical psychological evaluation that includes reviewing patients’ medical charts, conducting a comprehensive clinical interview, and employing some form of objective psychometric testing. Despite numerous societies recommending the inclusion of self-report assessments, only about 2/3 of clinics actively use psychological testing—some of which have limited empirical support to justify their use. This review aims to critically evaluate the psychometric properties of self-report measures when used in bariatric surgery settings and provide recommendations to help guide clinicians in selecting instruments to use in bariatric surgery evaluations. Recommended assessment batteries include use of a broadband instrument along with a narrowband eating measure. Suggestions for self-report measures to include in a presurgical psychological evaluation in bariatric surgery settings are also provided.

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