Women's lived experience and meaning of bariatric surgery

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

Bariatric surgical procedures, once considered a last resort option for severely obese individuals, are becoming more prevalent. Bariatric surgery is considered an aggressive way to induce and maintain weight loss and has been recently recognized as an important treatment to help patients with severe obesity reduce and maintain body weight. Although women comprise the greatest percentage of those undergoing bariatric surgery, there is a dearth of academic literature regarding their experience of this life-changing event. The purpose of this study was to illuminate the lived experience and meaning of bariatric surgery in women by addressing these questions: (a) What was the role of expectations in the lived experience of weight reduction surgery? (b) What kinds of changes were experienced pre and post surgery? (c) What value did these changes mean in the participants lives? (d) What value and worth has bariatric surgery had in the lives of these women? Four adult women, ages 40-55 years, 1-4 years post-bariatric surgery were asked to participate in three audiotaped open-ended interviews. All of the participants weighed over 225 pounds prior to surgery and lost an average of 100 pounds post surgery. Data were analyzed using a constant comparison method. Major themes indicated that: (a) prior to the surgery participants felt strong dissonance as a result of the experience of incongruity between their actual and desired self concepts and their weight, (b) the force of their felt dissonance and the striving for consistency and positivity were primary motivating factors in their decision to undergo bariatric surgery, (c) the weight loss experienced as a result of the bariatric surgery functioned to resolve their experience of dissonance, and (d) the resolution of dissonance became the most critical focus for the participants and was central to how they made meaning of their post surgical experiences and complications. Results indicate the importance and value of including pre and post surgical counseling which focuses on uncovering dissonance motivations and dissonance producing beliefs and behaviors that play a role in the election of surgery and the adaptations that accompany post surgical weight loss.

Indexing (details)

Mental health;
Cognitive therapy
0564: Surgery
0347: Mental health
0633: Cognitive therapy
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Psychology; Bariatric surgery; Dissonance theory; Obesity; Women
Women's lived experience and meaning of bariatric surgery
Riggs, Deborah A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 66/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Swan, Pamela
Arizona State University
University location
United States -- Arizona
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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