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Bariatric surgery is often pursued to improve quality of life (QOL). This paper systematically reviews the literature examining QOL following bariatric surgery. Fifteen controlled trials examined changes in QOL in obese (BMI > 30) adults (18–65 years) following bariatric surgery; seven compared bariatric surgery to non-surgical interventions and six compared different types of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery resulted in greater improvements in QOL than other obesity treatments. Significant differences in QOL improvements were found between different types of bariatric surgery. QOL improvements were more likely to occur within the first 2 years following surgery, with greater improvements in physical QOL than mental QOL. Bariatric surgery improves QOL. Future research is needed to investigate changes in QOL in different domains in the short- and long-term following bariatric surgery.


School of Psychology

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access