Obesity is a worldwide epidemic. Diet, exercise, and medical therapies alone have not been enough to stem the tide of this epidemic. Bariatric surgery has been found not only to be the most effective intervention for morbid obesity, but also results in substantial improvement in many of the associated co-morbid conditions. However, it is not clear what impact the surgery and subsequent life-style changes have on the patients' couple relationships. In order to explore the impact of bariatric surgery on the couple relationship, two research articles were completed: (a) a systematic literature review was used to explore existing research on the impact bariatric surgery on the marital/couple relationship and (b) a phenomenological study was conducted to explore and better understand the impact of weight loss surgery on the couple relationship. The results of the literature review demonstrated that very little is known on this topic. Of the published studies focusing primarily on the effects of weight loss surgery and couples, the vast majority of these studies were conducted between the years 1977 and 1991, with the most current study published in 2000. The more recent studies found that many couple relationships improved or remained stable after an initial adjustment period post-surgically. The research study revealed that the participant couples experienced the following five emerging thematic experiences: (a) changes in physical health; (b) changes in emotional health; (c) changes in eating habits; (d) greater intimacy in the relationship and; (e) the joint journey, where all couples felt their post-operative success was part of a joint effort. Recommendations from both articles are offered for clinicians, researchers, policy makers and medical family therapists.
|Commitee:||Pender, John, Sira, Natalia, Swanson, Melvin|
|School:||East Carolina University|
|Department:||Child Development and Family Relations|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Nutrition, Individual & family studies, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Bariatric surgery, Couples, Obesity, Qualitative research|
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