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A qualitative study of the role of Australian general practitioners in the surgical management of obesity


Jose, K and Venn, A and Nelson, M and Howes, F and Wilkinson, S and Ezzy, D, A qualitative study of the role of Australian general practitioners in the surgical management of obesity, Clinical obesity, 7, (4) pp. 231-238. ISSN 1758-8103 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 World Obesity Federation

DOI: doi:10.1111/cob.12195


General practitioners (GPs) are increasingly managing patients with class 2 and 3 obesity (body mass index [BMI] > 35 and 40 kg/m2, respectively). Bariatric surgery is considered for patients with class 2 obesity and comorbidities or class 3 obesity where sustained weight loss using non-surgical interventions has not been achieved. In Australia, GPs facilitate access to surgery through referral processes, but the nature of GP involvement in bariatric pre- and post-surgery care is currently unclear. This qualitative study involved 10 in-depth interviews with GPs and 20 interviews with adults who had all undergone laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) for weight management in Tasmania, Australia. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically. Referrals for bariatric surgery commonly occurred at the patientís request or to manage comorbidity. Consistent with previous studies, for GPs, referral patterns were influenced by previous case experience and patientsí financial considerations. Accessibility of surgery was also a consideration. Post-surgery, there was a lack of clarity about the role of GPs, with patients generally preferring the surgical team to manage the LAGB. In bariatric surgery, patient preference for surgery, access and comorbidity are key drivers for referral and post-surgical monitoring and support. Greater role clarity and enhanced collaboration between surgeons, GPs and patients following surgery is likely to enhance the experience and outcomes for patients.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:obesity, bariatric surgery, general practitioners, general practice, primary care
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jose, K (Dr Kim Jose)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Nelson, M (Professor Mark Nelson)
UTAS Author:Howes, F (Dr Faline Howes)
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:115949
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1076899)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-21
Last Modified:2018-03-27

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