Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - MUSC Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Susan D. Newman

Second Advisor

Emily Johnson

Third Advisor

Ron Acierno

Fourth Advisor

Sandra Coulon


Approximately 78% of the 5 million current Veterans Health Administration users are classified as obese or overweight, which equates to almost 3.9 million Veterans. The prevalence and impact of obesity and overweight will increase the cost and stress on the Veterans Health Administration because active duty service members, future Veterans, have had a 73% rise in obesity and overweight between 2011 and 2015. Overweight and obesity have many different treatment options through the Veterans Health Administration. These options include the MOVE! program, which demonstrates the efficacy of exercise and properly eating, weight loss medication or bariatric surgery. In the general population, bariatric surgery patients show continued and significant weight loss with a lower incidence of co-morbidity rates at two and 10 year intervals post-surgery. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that predict completion of bariatric surgery for Veterans served by the Veterans Health Administration and to find demographics or clinical characteristics that would help predict where failures to complete the surgical process are occurring. A chart review was conducted for all 359 referrals that were placed for bariatric surgery within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 from inception of the program, April 1, 2011, until June 30, 2016. Clinical characteristics and demographics were analyzed for documentation along with the completion of eight bariatric surgery requirements and whether surgery was completed. Only 132 of the referrals completed all 8 bariatric surgery requirements. The main factor faced by the 227 referrals that did not complete all 8 bariatric surgery requirements included not completing the MOVE! program at 68%.


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