Stop Regain: A Pilot Psychological Intervention for Bariatric Patients Experiencing Weight Regain

Susan M. Himes, Karen B. Grothe, Matthew M. Clark, James M. Swain, Maria L. Collazo-Clavell, Michael G. Sarr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: A subset of bariatric patients fails to achieve or maintain long-term successful weight loss. Psychological and behavioral factors contributing to poor long-term outcomes include decreased adherence to surgical eating guidelines, life stressors that derail weight maintenance, unhealthy eating patterns, and substance use.Objectives: A 6-week pilot group behavioral intervention utilizing techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed to treat bariatric patients experiencing weight regain.Setting: Patients were treated at a large Midwestern academic medical center.Methods: Twenty-eight patients (93 % female, 100 % Caucasian) with a mean age of 53 and a mean BMI of 35.6 had regained an average of 17 kg or 37 % of the weight lost after initially successful Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). All patients completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID I) modules assessing mood and substance dependence, and completed a series of questionnaires before and after group treatment, with weekly assessment of depressive symptoms, binge eating, and alcohol use. Results were analyzed utilizing repeated measures ANOVA.Results: Weight decreased during the intervention by an average of 1.6 ± 2.38 kg (p ≤ 0.01). Level of depressive symptoms improved for treatment completers (p ≤ 0.01). Food records indicated that grazing patterns decreased (p ≤ 0.01) and subjective binge eating episodes decreased (p ≤ 0.03).Conclusions: A 6-week pilot group behavioral intervention demonstrated an ability to help patients reverse their pattern of weight regain. Tailored behavioral interventions may be a useful treatment to enhance maintenance of long-term weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-927
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use
  • Weight regain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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