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16-10-2017 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 3/2018

Mindfulness 3/2018

Mindfulness-Based Eating and Awareness Training for Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients: a Feasibility Pilot Study

Mindfulness > Uitgave 3/2018
Susan M. Wnuk, Chau T. Du, Jessica Van Exan, Anna Wallwork, Katie Warwick, Lynn Tremblay, Matt Kowgier, Sanjeev Sockalingam


We evaluated the effects of mindfulness-based eating awareness training (MB-EAT) as a treatment for weight maintenance and psychological symptoms post-bariatric surgery. MB-EAT is an evidence-based group intervention originally developed for individuals who binge eat. It consisted of eight weekly 2-h sessions and was an adjunct to treatment as usual for post-bariatric surgery care. Participants’ body mass index (BMI) was calculated, and they completed self-report measures of depression, anxiety, binge eating, emotional eating, emotion regulation, and mindfulness before and immediately after MB-EAT and at 4 months follow-up. Participants rated the helpfulness of each session and recorded the amount of time spent practicing mindfulness between sessions. Twenty-eight participants were recruited (100% female, mean age = 54.30), 22 completed the intervention, and comparable data was available for between 13 and 17 participants depending on the measure. Depression significantly decreased from pre to post MB-EAT (p = 0.04, Cohen’s d = 0.39), and at 4 months follow-up, emotion regulation was significantly improved (p = 0.04, Cohen’s d = 0.12). Trends toward improvement were observed in binge eating and emotional eating from pre- to post-MB-EAT and in emotional eating from pre to 4 months follow-up. Time spent practicing mindfulness between sessions was associated with statistically significant improvements in emotional eating in response to anger from pre- to post-MB-EAT (p = 0.05). The positive results from this pilot study highlight the feasibility of MB-EAT for addressing eating problems and mental health symptoms in bariatric surgery patients.

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