Introduction: According to studies, a low physical capacity before surgery is linked with
smaller weigh loss after surgery and increases risks of peri-surgical complications. Practice
of regular physical activity in obese individuals improves their physical capacity. No
specific recommendation on physical activity prescription is currently available for this
reduced fitness population. This project aims to evaluate if a Pre-Surgical Physical Activity
Training (PreSPAT) improves physical capacity, surgery effectiveness and decreases
peri-surgical complications in morbidly obese individuals.
Methods: This pilot project will be divided in 2 phases:
Phase 1: Ten candidates for bariatric surgery will be included in this phase. In a
pre-training focus group, subjects will be interviewed about their expectations and their
availability for a PreSPAT. These results combined with those of the literature will be used
to design the PreSPAT. To measure its effectiveness, anthropometric parameters, body
composition, physical capacity, motivational stage, perceived benefits and barriers facing
physical activity and quality of life will be evaluated before and after the PreSPAT.
Subjects satisfaction with the physical activity intervention will be measured with a
questionnaire at 6 weeks and at the end of the PreSPAT.
Phase 2: 50 candidates for bariatric surgery will be randomized in 2 groups:
Control group: receiving usual care from the integrated medical and surgical treatment
obesity clinic of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, which includes
individual counselling by an exercise physiologist every 6 weeks.
Intervention group: will attend for three months before surgery sessions of supervised
physical activity as developed during phase 1 in addition to usual care of the integrated
medical and surgical treatment obesity clinic.
Physical capacity, anthropometry, body composition, readiness to change, comorbidities,
perceived benefits and barriers of physical activity, usual practice of physical activity,
quality of life and patient satisfaction with physical activity intervention will be
evaluated in the two groups before and after intervention and every 3 months after the
surgery during one year. Each occurrence of peri-surgery complications, and the duration of
surgery and hospitalization will be recorded.
Impacts: Feasibility and effectiveness of supervised physical activity training will be
assessed before the beginning of the randomized controlled study. Phase 2 of the project may
generate information that will improve the management of obese candidates for bariatric
surgery in order to ensure optimal results for their health. This project will also allow a
better understanding of criteria leading to successful surgery and the effects of exercise
training in morbidly obese individuals.