Development of ASMBS research agenda for bariatric surgery using the Delphi methodology

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2019 Sep;15(9):1563-1569. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2019.06.043. Epub 2019 Jul 8.


Background: While the number of research publications related to bariatric surgery have increased remarkably in the past decade, research efforts remain uncoordinated and have limited focus, and numerous important questions remain unanswered.

Objective: To generate a research agenda in bariatric surgery.

Setting: National survey.

Methods: The membership of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) was asked to submit research questions needed to advance the field of bariatric surgery. An expert panel grouped and collated submitted questions and redistributed them back to the membership to rate their importance on a 5-point Likert scale using a 3-round modified Delphi methodology. The top research questions were determined based on provided rankings.

Results: Two hundred ninety-two research questions were initially submitted that were collapsed to 59 unique questions. The ratings for the top 40 questions ranged from 2.67-4.33 (overall mean, 3.46). The highest-ranked questions centered on the mechanisms of effectiveness of bariatric surgery for weight loss and diabetes resolution, the underlying etiology of weight recidivism, and predictors of success.

Conclusions: A research agenda for bariatric surgery was developed using the Delphi methodology. This research agenda may enhance the ability of investigators and funding organizations, including the ASMBS, to focus attention to areas most likely to advance the field, and by editors and reviewers to assess the merit and relevance of scientific contributions.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Delphi process; Research agenda; Research priorities.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States