Mental Illness and Psychotropic Medication use Among People Assessed for Bariatric Surgery in Ontario, Canada
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BACKGROUND: Studies completed outside of Canada have reported a high rate of mental illness and psychotropic medication use among bariatric surgery candidates with variable impacts on surgical and mental health outcomes. To our knowledge, there has been no published Canadian data on this issue. METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of de-identified data from the Ontario Bariatric Registry for all individuals who completed both a baseline and psychological assessment between April 1, 2010, and February 9, 2015 (N = 10,698). We determined the rates of reported mental illness and psychotropic medication use overall and by fiscal year of assessment. RESULTS: A past or present mental illness, most commonly depression, was recorded for 51 % of individuals. At baseline, 38 % were taking at least one psychotropic medication, most commonly antidepressants. Only a small proportion of the population were taking psychotropic medications known to be associated with high potential for weight gain. Although the prevalence of mental illness increased steadily from 35 % in 2010/2011 to 63 % in 2014/2015, there was no corresponding increase in reported medication use. Of those taking psychotropic medications, 13 % did not have a recorded history of mental illness. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with other international studies, our results indicate a high prevalence of mental illness and psychotropic medication use among people referred for bariatric surgery in Ontario, Canada. This supports that accurate screening practices, knowledge about how to manage psychotropic medication pre- and post-operatively and recognition for opportunities to change medications that may be associated with weight gain are required.
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