Background: Obesity has become a worldwide problem. Surgery has been shown to be a safe and effective therapy. We sought to identify those factors that patients regard as barriers to undergoing a bariatric surgical procedure.
Methods: Morbidly obese patients were asked to complete a 2-page questionnaire during routine outpatient appointments or hospitalization for other reasons. Patients were enrolled from February 2007 to April 2008. The differences between groups were assessed using univariate analysis.
Results: A total of 77 patients (41 women and 36 men) were enrolled. Their median age was 51 years, and 49% of the patients were white, followed by Hispanic (23%), and other ethnicities. Of the 77 patients, 9% were supermorbidly obese (body mass index >50 kg/m(2)), and 62% reported having used dieting to lose weight, with greater reports among the women (P = .01). White patients and those >55 years old were more likely to be using some type of weight loss program. Only 40% were physically active. African Americans reported greater rates of regular exercise (P <.01). Of the 77 patients surveyed, 8% had never heard of bariatric surgery. Finally, only 30% of our patient population considered themselves to be morbidly obese.
Conclusion: The results from the present survey have demonstrated that a lack of insurance coverage is not the main reason for patients not consulting a center to be evaluated for bariatric surgery. Perceived barriers and lack of knowledge exist in both the minds of the general public and physicians.
2010 American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.