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What is needed to support bariatric surgery recipients’ long-term health and wellbeing? Bariatric clinic staff’s perspectives

Rebecca H Liu, Jennifer D Irwin


Rationale and Aim: Not all bariatric surgery recipients are able to sustain long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. The purpose of this study was to explore what bariatric clinic staff perceive is needed to best support the long-term health and wellbeing of bariatric surgery recipients.

Methods: Thirteen bariatric clinic staff completed an online questionnaire, adapted from a previously created tool. The revised tool was evaluated by 3 bariatric clinic staff prior to implementation and contained 5 close-ended demographic items and 6 open-ended questions. Demographic items were analyzed using descriptive statistics and inductive content analysis was used to identify emerging themes in participants’ in-depth open ended responses. Methods were employed throughout to support data trustworthiness.

Results: All participants were female, ranged from 45-59 years old and worked in the field of bariatric surgery on average for approximately 3 years and 3 months (± 32.2 months). Bariatric clinic staff believed follow-up appointments, bariatric surgery-related education and assessing readiness to change were the most helpful aids. A lack of: ongoing counselling, financial support for excess skin removal, family physicians with expertise in bariatric surgery and access to allied health professionals were deemed needed but unavailable. Recommendations to address challenges included offering one-on-one counselling and providing education and resources for Family Health Teams and others.

Conclusions: This is the first study detailing the perspectives of bariatric care-specific providers on bariatric surgery recipients’ needs. Overall, this study provides a complementary viewpoint to the needs and perspectives of surgery recipients and develops our understanding of optimal, feasible and person-centered bariatric care.


Bariatric surgery, health professionals, patient-centered care, person-centered healthcare, support

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