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In trial, video helps people weigh bariatric surgery pros, cons
Date:4/7/2011

SEATTLEA video-based decision aid helped severely obese people to make more informed choices about bariatric surgery and reach more certainty about them, according to a trial involving 152 Group Health patients, e-published in Obesity in advance of print. This randomized controlled trial is the first to test shared decision making for weight-loss surgery.

Researchers randomly assigned half the patients to receive an educational booklet on bariatric surgery and half to watch the video-based decision aid. After three months, those who watched the video felt less conflicted about their decision. They also knew more about pros, cons, and likely outcomes.

"We think a video like this one can play a key role as people talk with their primary care doctors or specialists, consider pros and cons, and decide whether or not to have bariatric surgery," said David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH, an associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute. "This is important because U.S. bariatric procedures have increased 20-fold since 1996from 9,400 to more than 220,000."

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved lowering the weight cutoff for gastric-banding surgery. For a 5 foot 9 inch person, the cutoff is now 203 poundsa body mass index (BMI) of 30if they have at least one obesity-related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, and have "failed" weight loss with diet and exercise. "That's about one in four U.S. adults," he added.

The patients in this trial averaged 50 years old with a BMI of 47. For a 5 foot 9 inch person, that means a weight of 308 pounds. In previous trials, patients who used decision aids were less likely to opt for various types of elective surgery, Dr. Arterburn said. But in this trial, that trend was not statistically significant.

Bariatric surgery can help severely obese people keep off enough weight to improve their obesity-linked diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, and even live longe
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Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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