Psychosocial interventions can improve eating behaviours and psychosocial functioning in bariatric surgery candidates. However, those that involve face-to-face sessions are problematic for individuals with severe obesity due to mobility issues and practical barriers.
To examine the efficacy of a pre-operative telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy (Tele-CBT) intervention versus standard pre-operative care for improving eating psychopathology and psychosocial functioning.
Preoperative bariatric surgery patients (N = 47) were randomly assigned to receive standard preoperative care (n = 24) or 6 sessions of Tele-CBT (n = 23).
Retention was 74.5% at post-intervention. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that the Tele-CBT group reported significant improvements on the Binge Eating Scale (BES), t (22) = 2.81, p = .01, Emotional Eating Scale (EES), t (22) = 3.44, p = .002, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), t (22) = 2.71, p = .01, whereas the standard care control group actually reported significant increases on the EES, t (23) = 4.86, p < .001, PHQ-9, t (23) = 2.75, p = .01, and General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), t (23) = 2.93, p = .008 over the same time period.
Tele-CBT holds promise as a brief intervention for improving eating psychopathology and depression in bariatric surgery candidates.