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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2012 Jul-Aug;8(4):381-6. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2011.12.013. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Physicians' attitudes about referring their type 2 diabetes patients for bariatric surgery.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. dsarwer@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite increasing evidence about the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery, little is known about physicians' attitudes toward it as a treatment of type 2 diabetes. Our objective was to investigate physicians' attitudes about referring patients with type 2 diabetes for bariatric surgery.

METHODS:

Physicians were identified from the Pennsylvania Integrated Clinical and Administrative Research Database and other databases. Physicians at an academic medical center (n = 142) and community-based physicians (n = 197) in the Philadelphia area in specialties likely to treat type 2 diabetes were sent a survey about their perceptions of the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS:

Of the physicians, 93 returned the survey, for a combined response rate of 27.4%. Respondents reported having positive impressions of bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes (79.6% and 67.4%, respectively). Only 20.8% of respondents indicated that they would be likely to refer their patients with type 2 diabetes with a body mass index of 30-34.9 kg/m(2) to a randomized research trial of bariatric surgery.

CONCLUSION:

In general, physicians who treat patients with type 2 diabetes had favorable impressions about bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, only a few were willing to refer their patients with type 2 diabetes and a body mass index of 30-34.9 kg/m(2) to randomized research trials of bariatric surgery. This reluctance to refer patients represents an important barrier to the successful completion of studies of the efficacy of bariatric surgery for those with type 2 diabetes and a body mass index <35 kg/m(2).

Copyright © 2012 American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22386926
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3865449
Free PMC Article
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