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How to find us J.E. (Johanna) Pyykkö
University Medical Center Groningen

J.E. Pyykkö

P.h.D. student
J.E. Pyykkö
E-mail:
j.e.pyykko umcg.nl

Psychological Predictors of Successful Bariatric Surgery Patients: Understanding and Facilitating Weight Loss and Mental Health over time.

Bariatric surgery (BS) is an effective weight loss treatment for severe obesity, leading to large weight losses, improvement in physical and psychological health and better weight maintenance compared to traditional weight loss treatments. A quarter of patients, however, do not reach optimal surgery results, losing only little weight or even regaining their weight back a few years after the surgery. Psychological factors are thought to play a vital role in weight loss and weight management but no consensus exists on the predictive role of psychological factors in BS. Moreover, previous studies have focused only on psychopathological conditions such as eating disorders and depression, neglecting patients’ overall psychological profile.

This Ph.D. project will examine the psychological characteristics of patients with obesity undergoing BS and patients not seeking surgical treatment for their obesity. Next, we will investigate the role of stable psychological characteristics such as personality and attachment style in the success of BS 12-months post-operation. Third, we will examine the mechanisms of unstable characteristics (e.g. self-efficacy, social support) in predicting surgical success in terms of weight, depression, and quality of life. In the fourth study, we will investigate the role of psychological characteristics, measured both before and after the operation as well as the change in them from before to after the operation, in predicting surgical outcomes up to two years after BS. Lastly, we will create recommendations for the use and adaption of eHealth applications for BS patient populations.


This dissertation will yield a more cohesive picture of the psychological characteristics of BS patients throughout their treatment. Therefore, it can contribute to improving the screening of candidates for surgery and supporting patients undergoing BS, ultimately increasing the success rate of BS.

Last modified:21 June 2019 5.05 p.m.

Contact information

Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands

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