Impact of a Wellness Coaching Program on Bariatric Surgery Candidates Following Weight Loss
Gust, Anita Marie
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A lifestyle approach toward weight loss, encompassing behavior modification strategies, education, and new coping skills may be most effective in adoption of the healthy behaviors necessary for achievement and maintenance of successful weight loss. Limited research exists on the effectiveness of pre-surgery wellness programs on post-surgical health behaviors for bariatric surgery candidates. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a pre-bariatric surgery wellness coaching program on health behaviors, quality of life (HRQoL), and psychosocial factors.A questionnaire containing measures of weight (self-report), dietary and physical activity (PA) (7-day IPAQ-short) behaviors, exercise motivation (BREQ-2), HRQoL (SF-12v2), and open-ended questions evaluating the wellness program, was sent out to all participants who engaged in a 12-week weight loss wellness coaching program and all bariatric surgery patients from 2009-2012 (n=782). From the 118 returned surveys (15.0%), participants (age = 51.46 years ± 12.98, BMI = 30.31 ± 7.70) were placed in either the wellness-coaching only group (n=16), surgery-only group (n=58), or surgery plus wellness coaching group (n=44) based on whether they participated in, and completed, the 12-week program and/or surgery. The wellness-coaching only group was excluded for the first set of analysis where weight loss, PA, dietary factors, exercise motivation and HRQoL were analyzed between a control (surgery only) group and intervention (surgery + wellness coaching) group. Compared to controls, participants in the wellness-coaching group had significantly more weekly vigorous PA, total minutes of MVPA, and total weekly PA. Significant differences were also found for two measures of exercise motivation and vitality scores. The second set of analysis excluded the surgery only group to analyze the impact of the wellness coaching program. Results indicate favorable results for health behaviors. A qualitative analysis found positive results for several psychosocial factors, motivation, and new skills learned. A comprehensive, wellness approach encompassing evidence based strategies toward weight loss had positive results towards health related behaviors and emotional and social well-being. Additionally, participants reported responses consistent with continued engagement in health behaviors and weight loss maintenance.