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Sarwer DB , Gasoyan H , Bauerle Bass S , Spitzer JC , Soans R , Rubin DJ
Role of weight bias and patient-physician communication in the underutilization of bariatric surgery
Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2021 Jul 26
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A growing body of evidence supports the efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery for clinically severe obesity. Despite this empirical support, bariatric surgery remains profoundly underutilized. The reasons for underutilization are likely multifactorial, including health insurance coverage and benefits design, lack of awareness about bariatric surgery by patients, and anecdotal concerns about safety. We believe that there are two other factors-the occurrence of weight stigma and bias and suboptimal communication between patients and providers-that also serve as barriers to greater utilization. The article reviews the existing literature related to these two factors. The review also highlights the science of shared medical decision-making as a potential strategy to promote appropriate conversations between patients and providers, both surgical and nonsurgical, about the efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery. Shared medical decision-making is used in other areas where complex medical decisions are required. We believe that it has great potential to contribute to the increased utilization for the millions of individuals who could benefit from bariatric surgery.
1878-7533 Sarwer, David B Gasoyan, Hamlet Bauerle Bass, Sarah Spitzer, Jacqueline C Soans, Rohit Rubin, Daniel J Journal Article Review United States Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2021 Jul 26:S1550-7289(21)00356-7. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2021.07.013.