Health Services Research & Development

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Jolles SA, Alagoz E, Liu N, Voils CI, Shea G, Funk LM. Motivations of Males with Severe Obesity, Who Pursue Medical Weight Management or Bariatric Surgery. Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A. 2019 Jun 1; 29(6):730-740.
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Abstract: Both medical weight management (MWM) and bariatric surgery are significantly underutilized by patients with severe obesity, particularly males. Less than 30% of participants in MWM programs are male, and only 20% of patients undergoing bariatric surgery are men. To identify motivations of males who pursue either MWM or bariatric surgery. Interviews with males with severe obesity (body mass index =35?kg/m), who participated in a Veteran Affairs weight loss program in the Midwest. Participants were asked to describe their experiences with MWM and bariatric surgery. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to NVivo for data management and analysis. Five coders iteratively developed a codebook using inductive content analysis to identify relevant themes. We utilized theme matrices organized by type of motivation and treatment pathway to generate higher-level analysis and generate themes. Twenty-five males participated. Participants were 58.7 (standard deviation 8.6) years old on average, and 24% were non-white. Motivations for pursuing MWM or surgery included a desire to improve physical or psychological health and to enhance quality of life. Patients seeking bariatric surgery were motivated by the fear of death and felt that they had exhausted all other weight loss options. MWM patients believed they had more time to pursue other weight loss options. The opportunity to improve health, optimize quality of life, and lengthen lifespan motivates males with severe obesity to pursue weight loss treatments. These factors should be considered when providers educate patients about obesity treatment options and outcomes.