Psychiatric co-morbidities in patients attending specialist obesity services in the UK.

QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians

PubMedID: 16613993

Tuthill A, Slawik H, O'Rahilly S, Finer N. Psychiatric co-morbidities in patients attending specialist obesity services in the UK. QJM. 2006;99(5):317-25.
BACKGROUND
The prevalence of obesity is rising, but little is known about its psychosocial correlates.

AIM
To assess psychological co-morbidities and impairment of quality of life in obese individuals seeking treatment at two specialist centres in the UK.

DESIGN
Retrospective analysis of anthropometric and questionnaire data collected at initial clinic visit.

METHODS
Patients attending for a first visit between April 2004 and March 2005 completed questionnaires that included scales for measurement of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), eating disorder-behaviour (Eating Disorder Inventory 2), assessment of body image (Body Image Assessment for Obesity) and quality of life (Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite). We examined the relationships between variables measured on these scales and anthropometric data.

RESULTS
Of 253 questionnaires evaluated, there were elevated scores for depression in 48%, and elevated scores for anxiety in 56%. Twenty-two percent demonstrated scores suggestive of a personality trait that overlaps with an eating disorder; an additional 11.5% had an elevated score for bulimia. About a third of individuals had significant impaired quality of life in the areas of examined.

DISCUSSION
Psychological co-morbidities are common in obese individuals attending specialist weight-management clinics, and may merit consideration at (or before) commencement of a weight loss programme.