Development of a pilot telehealth bariatric surgery support group

Schofield, Carin K., School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Kulbok, Pamela, School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Quatrara, Beth, NR-Administrative Operations, University of Virginia
Willcutts, Kate, School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Cattell-Gordon, David, School of Nursing, University of Virginia

The prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to grow. Bariatric surgery is becoming more common and accepted in the treatment of obesity. Clinical candidates for bariatric surgery should have a BMI > 40 kg/m² alone, or a BMI > 35 kg/m² plus one comorbidity. A trend is emerging in the literature showing high relapse rates, defined as substantial weight regain, after bariatric surgery-induced weight loss. Many researchers and clinicians have hypothesized that support groups can increase weight loss and promote weight maintenance after bariatric surgery. A review of the literature focusing on research about the use of support groups in weight loss and weight maintenance status-post bariatric surgery, specifically gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding, in the adult population was performed. It revealed that support group attenders lost more weight in the short-term (< four yrs) than non-support group attenders; no long-term studies (> five yrs) on weight loss or weight maintenance were found. The University of Virginia (UVA) Bariatric Surgery Program attracts patients from a wide geographic region, and it is often difficult for patients to attend the on-site bariatric surgery support groups offered. Thus, this paper will discuss the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot telehealth bariatric surgery support group in the UVA Bariatric Surgery team's second most populous patient region -- the city of Lynchburg and its surrounding counties.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
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