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Costs, Expected Weight Loss Impact Bariatric Surgery Choice

Complications, recovery time, other risks less influential in decision making

MONDAY, Dec. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients considering bariatric surgery, costs, expected weight loss, and resolution of medical conditions are the most important characteristics driving surgery decisions, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in JAMA Surgery.

Michael D. Rozier, Ph.D., from the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, and colleagues surveyed 815 patients (79.9 percent women) recruited from bariatric surgery information sessions. The authors sought to identify patient preferences for risks, benefits, and other attributes of treatment options.

The researchers found that profiles of hypothetical procedures that included resolution of medical conditions, higher total weight loss, and lower out-of-pocket costs were most likely to be selected. Younger respondents were more likely to choose treatments with higher weight loss and were more sensitive to out-of-pocket costs compared with older respondents. Respondents would pay $5,470 for losing each additional 20 percent of excess body weight and $12,843 for resolution of existing medical conditions.

“Results of our study suggest that a hierarchy of procedure characteristics can be used by physicians to help patients select their preferred weight loss option,” the authors write.

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