Background: Mental health disorders are common among bariatric surgery patients. Mental health disorders, particularly depression, have been associated with poorer surgical outcomes, indicating the bariatric surgery patient population warrants special clinical attention. Objective: Our study sought to examine the effect of diagnosed mental health disorders on 30-day readmission for those undergoing bariatric surgery in hospitals across Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2014. Methods: We used Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council data to perform this analysis. Inclusion criteria encompassed patients aged>18 years who underwent bariatric surgery at any hospital or freestanding surgical facility in Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2014. Mental health disorders were identified using predetermined International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision codes. Logistic regression was used to model the risk of 30-day readmission and estimate the effect of mental health disorders on 30-day readmission. Results: Of the 19,259 patients who underwent bariatric surgery, 40.3% had a diagnosed mental health disorder; 6.51% of all patients were readmitted within 30 days. Patients with a diagnosed mental health disorder had 34% greater odds of readmission (odds ratio = 1.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.19–1.51) relative to patients with no diagnosed mental health disorder. Patients with major depressive disorder/bipolar disorder had 46% greater odds of being readmitted compared with patients with no major depressive disorder/bipolar disorder diagnosis. Conclusion: Study findings imply the need for risk assessment of patients before postoperative discharge. Given that patients with mental health diagnoses are at increased risk of 30-day readmission after bariatric surgery, they may benefit from additional discharge interventions designed to attenuate potential readmissions.
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