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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014 May-Jun;10(3):547-52. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2013.09.014. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Predictors of bariatric surgery among an interested population.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Electronic address:
  • 2Group Health Center for Health Studies, Seattle, Washington.
  • 3Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 4Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
  • 5Division of General Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.



Severely obese patients considering bariatric surgery face a difficult decision given the tradeoff between the benefits and risks of surgery. The objectives of this study was to study the forces driving this decision and improve our understanding of the decision-making process.


A 64-item survey was developed to assess factors in the decision-making process for bariatric surgery. The survey included the decisional conflict scale, decision self-efficacy scale, EuroQol 5D, and the standard gamble. Patients were recruited from a regularly scheduled bariatric surgery interest group meeting associated with a large, university-based bariatric practice and administered a survey at the conclusion of the interest group. Logistic regression models were used to predict who pursued or still planned to pursue surgery at 12 months.


200 patients were recruited over an 8-month period. Mean age was 45 years; mean BMI was 48 kg/m(2), and 77% were female. The 12-month follow-up rate was 95%. At 12 months, 33 patients (17.6%) had surgery and 30 (16.0%) still planned to have surgery. There was no association between age, gender, or obesity-associated conditions and surgery or plan to have surgery. Patients having surgery or still planning to have surgery had significantly worse scores for quality of life and better scores for decisional conflict (indicating readiness to make a decision).


The decision to have bariatric surgery is strongly associated with patients' perceptions of their current quality of life. In addition, lower decisional conflict and higher self-efficacy are predictive of surgery. Interestingly, factors that clinicians might consider important, such as gender, age, and the presence of obesity-associated co-morbidities did not influence patients' decisions.

© 2013 American Society for Bariatric Surgery Published by American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery All rights reserved.


Bariatric surgery; Decisions; Quality of life

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