Interest, views and perceived barriers to bariatric surgery in patients with morbid obesity.
The objective of the study was to assess the interest, views and patient-perceived barriers to bariatric surgery among surgery-eligible patients. Surveys were completed at a weight management clinic and local hospital in Ontario, Canada. Patients were ≥18 years of age with a body mass index (BMI) >40 kg m-2 or BMI > 35 kg m-2 with ≥1 comorbidity. The sample included 105 participants, 73.3% female, with a mean BMI of 46.6 ± 7.1 kg m-2 . Only 33.3% of participants were interested in surgery; 50.5% of participants were not interested and 16.2% had mixed feelings. Participants identified risks (69.5%) and side effects (57.1%) as significant surgical barriers. Interested participants were more likely to perceive themselves as obese, were unhappy with their current weight loss method and were less likely to fear surgery (P < 0.05). The prevalence of comorbidities was not different by surgical interest (P = 0.17). Despite the effectiveness of bariatric surgery, the majority of qualified patients are not interested in surgery mainly due to the perceived risk of surgery in general and satisfaction with current non-surgical weight loss efforts. The self-perception of obesity, as opposed to medical comorbidities, may be a stronger driver of the decision to have bariatric surgery. It is unclear if patients are aware of the effectiveness of bariatric surgery to help improve comorbidities or if bariatric surgery is perceived as being more cosmetic in nature.