Background

In the province of Manitoba, limited effective weight loss/maintenance programs based on standardized approaches to support bariatric patients in pre- and post-surgical behavioral change exist.Effective evidence-based multi-disciplinary treatment initiatives are critical, in light of the fact that patients face a two year wait time prior to bariatric surgery. Hence, a novel 16 week pre-operative physical activity-behavioural modification intervention to solidify stage of change, reduce barriers and develop empowering behaviour was piloted.

Methods

Patients (n=27, BMI = 47.1 ± 6.2) were recruited from the Centre for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (CMBS) in Winnipeg, MB(September 2017 to May 2018). A time-series quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effect of the intervention, which occurred at the University of Manitoba's Active Living Centre. The primary outcome was the six-minute walk test. Secondary outcomes were biochemical, physical fitness, cardiovascular disease risk, and quality of life measurements. Participants were evaluated at baseline, 8 and 16 weeks.

Results

Six patients withdrew from the study. Eleven patients completed a portion of the intervention but had surgery prior to completion. Ten patients completed the 16 week intervention.Clinically significant (p≤0.05) differences in the six minute walk test (457.21 vs 497.58 m, p=0.002), indirect 1RM leg press (283.72 vs 331.60 lb, p<0.001), sit-to-stand (12.78 vs 14.82, p<0.01), and quality of life (181.89 vs 195.96, p=0.028) were found at 16 weeks compared to baseline.

Conclusions

Several markers associated with long-term post-bariatric surgery outcomes improved in patients participating in the intervention. Findings support implementation of an RCT to further assess the benefits and impact of a standardized physical activity-behaviour modification program tailored to bariatric surgery patients.