• Vol. 45 No. 11
  • 15 November 2016

Attitudes and Concerns of Diabetic Patients towards Bariatric Surgery as Treatment of Diabetes



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Bariatric surgery is increasingly recognised as an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes that significantly improves glycaemic control, even achieving remission. This study examined perceptions and concerns of diabetic patients towards bariatric surgery as a treatment option for diabetes. Materials and Methods: A total of 150 patients were recruited from a specialised diabetic outpatient clinic and completed a questionnaire (items were rated on a Likert scale from slightly important [lowest score of 1] to extremely important [maximum score of 5]). Logistic regression was performed to identify factors influencing decision for surgery. Results: The 74 males and 76 females had mean age of 50 (range 20 to 78) and body mass index (BMI) of 29.6 kg/m2 (range 18.1 to 51); 61% considered surgery favourably. Predictive factors for interest in surgery: higher educational levels (OR = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2 to 4.4), duration of diabetes (OR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 1.0) and use of insulin (OR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1 to 4.1). Reasons for surgery: desire for remission (Likert scale 4.7 ± 0.7), to prevent complications (Likert scale 4.5 ± 0.9) and to reduce medications (Likert scale 4.3 ± 1.1). For those not keen on surgery, main reasons were fear of surgery (Likert scale 4 ± 1.5) and satisfaction with current therapy (Likert scale 3.7 ± 1.6). Conclusion: Many diabetic patients would consider surgery as an option to improve their metabolic disorder (greater interest in patients with higher educational levels, currently using insulin and with shorter duration of diabetes). Surgical complications, length of recovery and duration of benefits were the main concerns.

The world is currently facing an epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases with nearly 366 million people affected worldwide and 450 million people are forecasted to have diabetes by 2030.2 Current standard therapy includes oral hypoglycaemic agents and insulin, with varied success.

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