The support needs of patients waiting for publicly funded bariatric surgery - implications for health service planners
Sharman, MJ and Venn, AJ and Jose, KA and Williams, D and Hensher, M and Palmer, AJ and Wilkinson, S and Ezzy, D, The support needs of patients waiting for publicly funded bariatric surgery - implications for health service planners, Clinical Obesity, 7, (1) pp. 46-53. ISSN 1758-8103 (2016) [Refereed Article]
The objective of this study was to investigate the experience of waiting for publicly funded bariatric surgery in an Australian tertiary healthcare setting. Focus groups and individual interviews involving people waiting for or who had undergone publicly funded bariatric surgery were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. A total of 11 women and 6 men engaged in one of six focus groups in 2014, and an additional 10 women and 9 men were interviewed in 2015. Mean age was 53 years (range 23–66); mean waiting time was 6 years (range 0–12), and mean time since surgery was 4 years (range 0–11). Waiting was commonly reported as emotionally challenging (e.g. frustrating, depressing, stressful) and often associated with weight gain (despite weight-loss attempts) and deteriorating physical health (e.g. development of new or worsening obesity-related comorbidity or decline in mobility) or psychological health (e.g. development of or worsening depression). Peer support, health and mental health counselling, integrated care and better communication about waitlist position and management (e.g. patient prioritization) were identified support needs. Even if wait times cannot be reduced, better peer and health professional supports, together with better communication from health departments, may improve the experience or outcomes of waiting and confer quality-of-life gains irrespective of weight loss.
health services, overweight, endocrine system diseases, cardiovascular diseases.