Health-Related Quality of Life in Morbid Obesity
Background: In order to evaluate the impact of severe obesity and its treatment on quality of life (QoL), it would be important to first identify the areas of QoL most likely to be affected by the disease. Methods: We first constructed a list of 187 items potentially related to QoL of patients with morbid obesity. From this list, consecutive candidates for bariatric surgery were asked to identify what they felt were the most significant items and to grade their importance. The item impact was determined from the proportion of patients who identified it as important, and the mean importance score attributed to this item (impact score = frequency X importance). Results: 100 patients (68 female; mean body mass index 51.5 kg/m2; mean age 42) were interviewed. Overall, the impact of morbid obesity was more important in women than in men. The areas of impairment were very similar in both groups, with the important difference that women ranked their dissatisfaction with physical appearance higher than men. The items having the most important impact on QoL clustered into 7 domains: 1) activity/mobility; 2) symptoms; 3) personal hygiene/clothing; 4) emotions; 5) social interactions; 6) sexual life; and 7) eating behavior. Conclusion: The impact of morbid obesity on QoL is not limited to the activity/mobility domain. Morbid obesity contributes to the impairment of all domains of what is usually referred to as "health-related quality of life".
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.