Physical Activity in Post-Bariatric Patients: Overcoming Barriers to Good Care

  • Al-Ozairi E
  • Graham K
  • Van S
  • et al.
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Introduction: Bariatric surgery is currently considered the most effective long-term treatment for morbid obesity and obesity- related co-morbidities. Long-term follow-up studies have shown that up to 20% of patients who undergo bariatric surgery are unable to maintain long-term weight loss. Adherences to lifestyle recommendations following surgery are believed to play a major role. There is few published research examining barriers in obese populations following bariatric surgery. Purpose: This study aims to examine perceived barriers to exercise adoption and factors that influence whether or not respondents are meeting physical activity guidelines in post-operative bariatric patients. Methods: This was a quantitative cross sectional study. Eligible participants from Toronto bariatric patients program who completed at least 6 months post surgery completed the survey in hard copy or over the telephone. Demographic and clinical data included age, gender, marital status and employment. The barriers to Physical activity questionnaire (BPAQ) and International physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Of the 150 respondents, 86% were female, with a mean age of 46 years and 60% were married. Social barriers including work commitments and cost were the most perceived barriers to participation with 70% not fulfilling Canada's weekly-recommended physical activity level. Controlling for age, gender, BPAQ, preoperative BMI independently predicted higher IPAQ post op (P<0.05). Conclusions: The majority of postoperative patients remain insufficiently active. Interventions should focus on perceived barriers. Further research is needed to design future intervention studies aiming to optimize post-operative bariatric care.




Al-Ozairi, E., Graham, K., Van, S., Wnuk, S., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2013). Physical Activity in Post-Bariatric Patients: Overcoming Barriers to Good Care. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37, S258–S259.

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