Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson; Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN


alcohol consumption, Coping theory, Gastric Bypass patients, mental health, nursing, Obesity


Introduction: Obesity and morbid obesity, along with their co-morbidities, are impacting the national and international healthcare delivery systems and policy agendas. Bariatric surgery is a dynamic and fast-changing medical and surgical practice designed to mitigate the consequences of 60 million obese adults in the United States alone. Alcohol consumption after gastric bypass surgery presents potential physiological and psychological problems. Purpose: Examine the prevalence and incidence of increased alcohol consumption among a group of post-gastric bypass patients; identify the relationship of the alcohol use with time since surgery, psychosocial issues (depressive symptomatology, anxiety, coping) and demographic variables. Theoretical Framework: Coping serves as an underlying theory that may explain the use of alcohol in the gastric bypass patient and the impact on post-surgery behaviors. Coping theory guided the formation of the research questions and formed the study. Aim: Characterize alcohol use in a cohort of gastric bypass patients. Examine the relationship between anxiety, depressive symptomatology, coping, alcohol use, and demographic variables in gastric bypass patients. Describe the experience of alcohol use post GB surgery, through patient narratives. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional design with a single open-ended question to add richness to the quantitative findings. Sample = 268 post-gastric bypass surgery patients who completed a self-reported questionnaire consisting of four measures (an investigator developed demographic and personal data survey) and three standardized measures (AUDIT, JCS, & POMS). Results: Among participants for whom greater time had elapsed since surgery, those who had experienced higher anxiety/tension and had used emotive or palliative coping were found to have had significantly higher alcohol-use scores. Conclusions: The first generation of gastric bypass surgery research requires advancing the science to examine the complex and multiple psychosocial constructs and their relationships to support evidence-based programs that will facilitate achieving lifelong positive GBS outcomes.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons