Changes in functional walking distance and health-related quality of life after gastric bypass surgery

James Tompkins, Pamela R. Bosch, Rochelle Chenowith, Judy L. Tiede, James M. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. Early physical functional changes after gastric bypass surgery (GBS) are unclear, and the relationship between these changes and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) has not been reported. We measured distances from a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and scores on the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) before and after GBS. Subjects and Methods. Twenty-five people undergoing GBS completed the SF-36 and 6MWT presurgically and at the 3-month and 6-month follow-up visits. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured during 6MWTs. Results. Presurgical walking distance (X -±SD; 414.1±103.7 m) was 55%±14% of normative values. Distances increased significantly at 3 months (505.2±98.0 m) and at 6 months (551.5±101.2 m). Final RPEs decreased significantly, and HR-QOL improved significantly. Both physical and mental health components of the SF-36 improved significantly. Distance was inversely correlated with body mass throughout the study and positively correlated with the SF-36 Physical Component Summary change from 3 to 6 months. Discussion and Conclusions. Improved functional capacity was associated with enhanced HR-QOL. At 6 months, walking distances remained 75% of those for age-matched peers who had normal weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-935
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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