Impacts of an intensive community-based support for patients with severe or morbid obesity in the United Kingdom: a qualitative study

Michael Bond, Annette Haywood, Eleanor Holding, Elizabeth Goyder, Rachel Holt, Paul Bissell, John Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
To explore the long-term impact of a UK specialist service providing intensive weight management support for patients with severe and complex obesity. An interview based study of former patients about their contact with the service and how it had affected their subsequent weight management. The questions covered areas of difference between those who had received lifestyle change support and those who had also had weight loss surgery.
Methods
This was a qualitative study which took place with former patients of a community based weight management service for people with severe or morbid obesity who had been discharged for at least two years.. Nineteen interviews took place with patients initially contacted by questionnaire about their experiences of involvement with the service. Participants interviewed all had support to change their lifestyle, some also had bariatric surgery. A narrative interview approach was employed to explore participants’ weight management after involvement with the service.
Results:
Most participants had maintained their weight loss. The self esteem of some participants had been significantly improved. For some the weight loss came with significant problems in terms of dietary restrictions and loose skin. Participants said they would like more open ended contact, particularly for those who had bariatric surgery.
Conclusions
The study supported existing research findings that both those who had bariatric surgery or who just had lifestyle change support, experienced a significant reduction in their weight. In this respect participants thought it was a success. However, for a number it was at a price in terms of the amount and type of food they could eat. The study adds to the understanding of the impact of bariatric surgery and weight management support from the patients’ perspective and of the support needs of patients having lifestyle support and surgery, to help them manage the long term impact of obesity and treatment side-effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Challenges
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Nov 2022

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