Physical Function and Health Related Quality of Life Before and 18 Months after Bariatric Surgery

Malin Wiklund1, 2, *, Monika F. Olsén1, 2, 3
1 Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
2 Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Gastrosurgical Research and Education, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
3 Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiotherapy, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

© 2015 Wiklund et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Physiotherapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden; Tel: +46313429321; Fax: +46313424341; E-mail:



The mobility disability experienced by people with obesity is well known and has been found to be associated with reduced health related quality of life (HRQoL) compared to people without obesity. Research is lacking related to the patients experiences that how their capacity to perform various daily physical activities and HRQoL are affected by weight loss following bariatric surgery.


To evaluate patients’ experiences of their HRQoL and physical function before and 18 months after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery (LRYGB).


A series of 70 patients filled in one HRQoL questionnaire, the EQ-5D (including EQ VAS and EQ-5D descriptive system) and two self-assessment questionnaires that evaluate disability by assessing activity and participation limitations, the Disability Rating Index (DRI) and a questionnaire with five disease-specific questions.


All activities, in both DRI as well as the five disease-specific questions were experienced as significantly less difficult to perform postoperatively than preoperatively (p<0.05). In this study, the median (min, max) EQ VAS score was 60 (20, 100) mm preoperatively and 80 (20, 100) mm postoperatively (100 = best imaginable health; 0 = worst imaginable health). The difference between pre- and postoperative EQ VAS was significant (p<0.001).


Both the HRQoL and the self experienced ability to perform various daily physical activities increased significantly 18 months after LRYGB compared to preoperatively.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery, gastric by-pass surgery, disability, obesity, physical function, quality of life.