Bariatric Assessment

When might a bariatric assessment be helpful?

A psychological assessment in the lead up to bariatric surgery is a specialised evaluation performed by a mental health professional, typically a psychologist or psychiatrist, as part of the thorough assessment required and recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for individuals considering weight loss surgery.

The primary goal of a psychological assessment prior to bariatric surgery is to evaluate the person’s current mental health and emotional well-being. This may include examining current mental health concerns, body and weight, eating patterns, mental health diagnoses, substance use/misuse, past trauma, and the motivation and ability to make and maintain long term healthy lifestyle changes. The assessment aims to identify any underlying psychological factors that may have contributed to the patient’s weight struggles, which may also negatively impact long term weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

What is involved?

During a psychological assessment, our psychologist will perform a clinical interview and administer standardised psychological tests to evaluate current mental health and psychological functioning particularly as they relate to bariatric surgery. They may also discuss the patient’s motivation for seeking weight loss surgery, their history with dieting and weight loss/regain, expectations of and understanding about the surgery; and the lifestyle changes required for maintenance of long term weight loss.

Based on the results of the psychological bariatric assessment, the psychologist will make recommendations about psychological treatment and interventions, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or counselling to treat existing mental health concerns, to better prepare the person for weight loss surgery and assist them to manage the emotional and lifestyle changes that come with it. Our psychologist will work with the individual and collaborate with bariatric healthcare team so the person proceeds to surgery being psychologically informed, emotionally prepared and feeling grounded and sure in their decision to proceed.

Bariatric Assessment 1

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