Leila Azarbad

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (9)27.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This study assessed the utility of the Binge Eating Scale (BES) as a measure of binge eating disorder (BED) in a bariatric surgery-seeking population by (a) determining the optimal BES cut score for predicting BED, (b) calculating concordance statistics, and (c) determining the predictive value of each BES item. METHODS: Four hundred seventy-three patients presented for a psychological evaluation prior to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The BES and the SCID semi-structured interview for BED were administered. RESULTS: Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses identified an optimal BES cut score of 17, which correctly classified 78% of patients with BED. A cut score of 27 improved this statistic, but significantly increased the number of false negatives, which is undesirable for a screening assessment. Discriminant function analyses revealed that nearly all BES items significantly predicted BED. CONCLUSIONS: The BES is a valid screener of BED for patients seeking bariatric surgery; however, false positives can be expected. Administering the BES as part of a comprehensive psychological evaluation can help improve the assessment and treatment of patients presenting for bariatric surgery.
    Obesity Surgery 03/2013; · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Screening for depression is an integral part of psychological evaluations conducted prior to bariatric surgery. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) is the most commonly used measure of depression in these treatment evaluations. The reliability and validity of the BDI-II has not yet been evaluated within bariatric surgery-seeking samples, evidencing a significant gap in the present literature. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the structural validity of the BDI-II and to examine the reliability and convergent and criterion validity of this instrument within a bariatric surgery-seeking sample. The study population consisted of 505 ethnically diverse bariatric surgery candidates presenting for presurgical psychological evaluations in a midwestern urban academic medical center. Confirmatory factor analytic results indicated that a 3-factor model consisting of affective, cognitive, and somatic factors was the best fitting model of depression within this sample. Internal consistency reliability was satisfactory for each subscale, ranging from .72 to .82. Moderate to large correlations were observed between each BDI-II subscale and a measure of depression previously validated with bariatric surgery candidates indicating adequate convergent validity. On the basis of clinical interview, 14% of the sample was diagnosed with current major depression. Significant mean differences were observed between depressed and nondepressed patients with respect to each BDI-II subscale score, demonstrating criterion-related validity. The BDI-II is a reliable and valid measure of depression for bariatric surgery candidates. Understanding the factor structure of the BDI-II can be useful for planning potential presurgical psychological interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological Assessment 10/2012; · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to evaluate the Revised Master Questionnaire (MQR), a measure of cognitive and behavioral difficulties related to weight management, for use in bariatric surgery evaluations. The MQR's five domains include stimulus control, hopelessness, motivation, physical attribution, and energy balance knowledge, all of which are relevant to bariatric surgery evaluation. Participants were 790 bariatric surgery candidates presenting for psychological evaluation in an urban medical center. Internal consistency reliability analyses were performed on the overall scale and subscales. Confirmatory factor analysis using principal components analysis was performed and the results compared with the original behavioral weight loss sample. Convergent validity with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Binge Eating Scale (BES) were evaluated. Differences in normative data for subgroups of the bariatric sample (by obesity category and by surgery type) were also evaluated. Alpha coefficients and mean inter-item correlations were largely acceptable and similar to the original behavioral weight loss sample. Factor analyses supported the consistency of the underlying factor structure. Convergent validity between the BDI and BES and relevant subscales was obtained. Overall, bariatric surgery candidates had significantly more adaptive scores than behavioral weight loss patients on three of the five scales; however, scores on physical attribution and energy balance knowledge were significantly lower. Candidates for gastric banding surgery had significantly more adaptive scores on all five subscales than candidates for gastric bypass surgery. The MQR evaluates important but under-assessed weight control-related constructs and has acceptable psychometric properties. Based on these findings, it is recommended for use as a component of the psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery.
    Obesity Surgery 05/2011; 22(3):381-8. · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Megan M Hood, Joyce A Corsica, Leila Azarbad
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding presurgical psychological functioning is important in determining whether patients may benefit from psychological support before or after undergoing bariatric surgery. However, few studies have directly explored whether presurgical psychosocial profiles differ for patients presenting for different bariatric surgeries and what, if any, impact ethnic background might have. The present study compared presurgical depressive symptomatology, binge eating symptoms, and psychopathology in Caucasian and African American laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and gastric bypass (RYGB) patients. Patients (n=272) presenting for either LAGB or RYGB surgery completed self-report measures of depressive symptomatology (BDI), binge eating symptoms (BES), and psychopathology/personality (PAI) as part of the presurgical psychological evaluation. RYGB patients endorsed more depressive symptomatology, binge eating symptoms, somatic complaints, and antisocial features than LAGB patients, though higher BMI in the RYGB patients accounted for differences in binge eating symptoms. When the sample was examined by ethnic group, LAGB-RYGB differences were found only in African American, and not Caucasian, patients. Psychosocial profiles appear to differ for African American patients presenting for LAGB and RYGB surgeries; however, some of these differences are accounted for by differences in presurgical BMI. Gaining a better understanding of the initial psychological characteristics of bariatric surgery candidates may improve clinicians' abilities to identify and address specific areas of concern for these patients.
    Obesity Surgery 04/2011; 21(4):440-7. · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Leila Azarbad, Linda Gonder-Frederick
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity carries a unique disease burden on women and is influenced by a variety of biological, hormonal, environmental, and cultural factors. Reproductive transitions, such as pregnancy and menopause, increase the risk for obesity. Psychologically, obese women experience greater weight-related stigma and discrimination and are at increased risk for depression than obese men. Women are also particularly susceptible to psychological stress, sleep debt, and lack of physical activity, all of which are risk factors for the development of excess weight. Obesity risk is increased among women with psychiatric disorders and those who use certain psychotropic medications. Obesity treatment should take into consideration degree of obesity, health risks, past weight loss attempts, and individual differences in motivation and readiness for treatment.
    The Psychiatric clinics of North America 06/2010; 33(2):423-40. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that that binge eating, stress, and depression are prevalent among individuals seeking bariatric surgery. However, ethnic differences in the prevalence of binge eating and binge eating disorder (BED) in this population remain unclear, as does the impact of depression and stress on any such relationship. Further, no studies to date have examined the prevalence of binge eating in Hispanic women presenting for bariatric surgery. This study sought to (a) compare the prevalence and severity of binge eating symptomatology and BED diagnosis in Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian women presenting for gastric bypass surgery, (b) examine the impact of depressive symptoms and stress on binge eating symptomatology, and (c) investigate whether ethnicity moderated any relationship between depression, stress, and binge eating. Results indicated that Hispanic women exhibited equal rates of binge eating symptomatology, BED, and depressive symptomatology as African American and Caucasian women. However, Caucasian women exhibited greater binge eating symptomatology than African American women, and African American women endorsed greater levels of stress than Caucasian women. Across all ethnic groups, depressive symptomatology, but not stress, significantly predicted binge eating severity. These findings suggest that Hispanic women presenting for bariatric surgery report binge eating rates equivalent to Caucasian and African American women, and that depressive symptoms are an important predictor of binge eating in female bariatric surgery candidates across ethnic groups.
    Eating Behaviors 04/2010; 11(2):79-84. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), an overall measure of personality and psychopathology, features a number of dimensions that may be useful in the psychological assessment of bariatric surgery candidates. However, its clinical utility is limited because psychometric properties of the PAI with bariatric surgery candidates have never been evaluated, and normative data for this population have never been published. We examined the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the PAI with a large sample of bariatric surgery candidates (n = 546) presenting for evaluation in an urban medical center. Internal consistency reliability analyses were performed on the PAI full scales and subscales. Exploratory factor analysis using principal components analysis with oblique rotation was performed and the results compared with community, clinical, and medical samples. Normative data and scale elevation frequencies for the bariatric sample are presented. Alpha coefficients and mean interitem correlations were acceptable and similar to the test standardization samples. Factor analyses supported the consistency of the underlying factor structure with bariatric surgery candidates and also revealed a factor for warmth and social support. Normative data indicate that overall bariatric surgery candidates appear quite similar to the community standardization sample. Sixteen percent of candidates reported significant (T >or= 70) somatic complaints, consistent with the greater health problems in this sample. Our findings support the clinical utility of the PAI in the psychological assessment of bariatric surgery candidates. The availability of PAI normative data and profile elevation statistics will help to facilitate clinical interpretation and inform treatment recommendations for candidates undergoing bariatric surgery.
    Obesity Surgery 11/2009; 20(6):722-31. · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preoperative psychosocial evaluations of bariatric surgery candidates primarily focus on screening for psychiatric co-morbidities. However, the role of weight loss expectations and knowledge about surgery can also influence patients' postoperative behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate preoperative patient knowledge and expectations about postoperative weight loss. Data on the knowledge and expectations were extracted from a database of psychosocial evaluations of 334 bariatric surgery candidates. Expectations were measured by patient report of the expected pounds to be lost. Knowledge was operationalized using the University of Virginia Bariatric Knowledge Scale, a 22-item multiple choice scale, that assesses knowledge about medical, nutritional, and psychosocial components related to bariatric surgery. The data were analyzed using frequencies, descriptive statistics, and analysis of variance. The data on weight loss expectations from 217 preoperative patients indicated that, compared with the average weight loss data presented in published reports, 65% of patients overestimated the degree of weight loss and only 25% of patients maintained accurate expectations of weight loss. Knowledge data on the nutritional, medical, and behavioral components of the surgery were available for 96 patients. The items frequently answered incorrectly included expected weight loss and the utility of surgery in increasing the ability to make changes in diet and exercise. The mean body mass index differences were observed to determine the accuracy of weight loss expectations The results of our study have shown that a significant number of bariatric surgery patients present with misconceptions about weight loss. The preoperative psychosocial evaluation can be used as an intervention to use psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, and behavioral interventions to improve patients' knowledge and expectations.
    Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 01/2007; 3(5):554-8. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Successful outcome for bariatric surgery is largely dependent on patients' ability to adhere to postoperative behavior changes. A thorough psychological evaluation is often required before patients' approval for surgery. In addition to a standard psychiatric interview, assessment of behavioral components specific to this surgery seems indicated. No uniform guidelines exist on how to conduct such an evaluation. This survey was designed to collect information on the level of involvement of mental health professionals with bariatric surgery programs and their approach to evaluating bariatric surgery candidates. Surveys about psychological evaluation practices were mailed to 188 bariatric surgery programs. Eighty-one surveys were returned. Eighty-eight percent of programs require patients to undergo a psychological evaluation and almost half require formal standardized psychological assessment. Current illicit drug use, active symptoms of schizophrenia, severe mental retardation, and lack of knowledge about the surgery were the most commonly cited contraindications, preventing patients from gaining approval for surgery. The majority of programs use psychological evaluations; however, the exclusion criteria for surgery vary greatly. Establishing uniform guidelines for the screening of bariatric surgery candidates is necessary. Suggestions on how to begin this process are provided. More research about behavioral and cognitive predictors of postsurgical success is needed.
    Psychosomatic Medicine 01/2005; 67(5):825-32. · 4.08 Impact Factor