"Wait for us to catch up" : Aspects of family functioning after gastric bypass surgery

Sammanfattning: Aim: To investigate aspects of family functioning when a family member has undergone Gastric Bypass surgery (GBP).Methods: Study I explored experiences of family functioning three months after GBP, based on nine family interviews, analyzed using Gadamerian hermeneutics. Using Classic grounded theory, Study II focused on how families resolve their primary concerns after GBP, through interviews with 16 families. Study III evaluated the reliability and validity of the General Functioning Scale (GFS) based on 163 self-reported questionnaires, and used psychometric analyses. Study IV explored associations between family functioning, weight loss, sex and Health Related-Quality of Life (HR-QoL), based on self-reported questionnaires from 153 participants and utilized descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression.Results: Study I revealed a process of three intertwined changes in family functioning three months after GBP: Living in ambiguous relationship, rewriting family patterns and strengthening family cohesion. Study II showed that families shared a main concern of unexpected change after GBP, resulting in the theory Stabilizing family life, explained as a social process to decrease uncertainty and find stability and well-being in family interactions. This resulted in attaining unity, returning to old family patterns or disconnecting. Study III suggested GFS as a promising tool for assessing family functioning in a Swedish bariatric sample, showing satisfactory reliability and validity. Study IV showed associations between family functioning and the mental dimensions of HR-QoL, two years after GBP. Percent weight loss was associated with the physical dimension. Sex showed no associations to HR-QoL.Conclusion: Families experienced unexpected challenges after GBP affecting family functioning. Mutual remodeling of family life to incorporate changes was seen. Families underwent a social process, indicating that families may represent a resource in bariatric nursing care. A family-system nursing perspective as complement to standard care may be beneficial. As family functioning influence HR-QoL identifying available family resources and giving tailored information to support self-care strategies after GBP, may result in sustainable family functioning and individual health. Studies aimed at identify families that may benefit from family-system nursing interventions are suggested for future inquiry. 

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