In addition to the medical and psychological issues of bariatric patients (“Critical Care of Patients With Obesity” [August 2004:19–27]), our chaplaincy interactions with this patient population have identified specific spiritual and emotional needs, hopes, and resources that may contribute to positive outcomes. Listening to the patient’s story, we are better able to identify the patient’s goals and integrate those goals into the plan of care.

An interdisciplinary approach can offer heightened possibilities for improved health and quality of life while respecting the dignity and value of each patient. By recognizing the need for spiritual and emotional support, patients can be cared for with greater empathy, uniqueness, and quality. With the understanding that bariatric patients may come to the hospital with various conditions and for various treatments, both surgical and nonsurgical, it is helpful to identify areas in which the...

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