Substance Use, Mental Health, and Weight-Related Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patients

Sarah E. Messiah, Maduri Uppuluri, Luyu Xie, Jeffrey N. Schellinger, M. Sunil Mathew, Ashley Ofori, Sachin Kukreja, Benjamin Schneider, Samuel H. Dunn, Anna Tavakkoli, Jaime P. Almandoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral issues among those who have completed bariatric surgery (BS) is not well described in ethnically diverse populations. The aim of this study was to compare the impact of COVID-19 lockdown orders and after lockdown orders were lifted on substance use, mental health, and weight-related behaviors among a sample of post-BS adults. Materials and Methods: A retrospective medical chart review identified BS patients from one university-based obesity medicine clinic and two BS practices. An online non-anonymous survey was implemented in two phases: during lockdown (April 1–May 31, 2020) and after lockdown orders were lifted (June 1, 2020–September 30, 2020) to obtain information about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on BS patients. Results: A total of 189 (during lockdown=39, post-lockdown=150) participants (90.4% female, mean age 52.4 years, SD 11.1, 49.8% non-Hispanic White, 30.6% non-Hispanic Black, 16.1% Hispanic) participated. Lockdown participants were more likely to have sleep problems (74.3% vs. 56.1%, P=.039) and feel anxious (82.0% vs. 63.0%, P=.024) versus post-lockdown participants. A majority (83.4%) reported depression in both lockdown/post-lockdown. Post-lockdown participants were more than 20 times more likely to report substance use compared those in lockdown (aOR 20.56, 95% CI 2.66–158.4). Conclusions and Relevance: The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial negative impact on substance use, mental health, and weight-related health behaviors in diverse BS patients. These findings have important implications for post-BS patient care teams and may suggest the integration of screening tools to identify those at high risk for behavioral health issues. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3738-3748
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Surgery
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Behaviors
  • COVID-19
  • Mental health
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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