ICE/ENDO 2014: 16th International Congress of Endocrinology and The Endocrine Society's 96th Annual Meeting:

Bariatric Surgery and Prescription Weight Loss Medication Achieve Higher Patient Satisfaction

The results of a pharmaceutical company-funded study focused on patient satisfaction associated with weight loss methods was presented by Zhixiao (Jason) Wang, MD during The Endocrine Society’s 96th Annual Meeting held in Chicago at McCormick Place West from June 21-24, 2014. Dr. Wang is the study's prinicipal investigator and director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Eisai in Woodcliff Lake, NJ.

Weight Management is the Issue
“When we talk about weight loss, we’re really talking about weight management that has two different stages: the initial weight loss stage and the long-term weight management phase,” stated Dr. Wang. While many people have experienced some weight loss during the initial stage, as time passes, it becomes more and more difficult for patients to continue to lose more weight, or to keep the weight off.

This is why treatment satisfaction has become an important outcome measure. Dr. Wang said, “It’s not just a reflection of the treatment effectiveness of overall quality of care, but it can be a very important driver potentially for treatment adherence, especially for long-term commitment. So, the objective of our study was to look at treatment satisfaction associated with different weight loss matters.”

The 2012 National Health and Wellness Survey was utilized; more than 70,000 respondents representative of the general adult population in the United States (US). From the respondents, the study identified respondents who were considered obese based on the body mass index (BMI). Respondents with a BMI ≥ 30 were considered obese.

Patients were further categorized into one of three groups:

1.    Used bariatric surgery for weight loss

2.    Used prescription medications for weight loss

3.    Only used self-modification techniques (eg, diet, exercise)

Interestingly, some respondents did not consider taking any steps to lose weight, and/or never thought about obesity as being a problem. Dr. Wang commented, “So this really highlights the need for continuous education on obesity as a disease and also weight management options.”

Characteristics among patients who reported using bariatric surgery or prescription medications included:

  • More likely to be female
  • More likely to have health insurance
  • More likely to have severe obesity

“Because the patients are different, we wanted to compare patients in terms of treatment satisfaction between the first two groups. We wanted to make sure we were selecting similar patients, which is why we used the statistical technique called Propensity Score Matching,” explained Dr. Wang.

The data showed a significantly higher proportion of patients using bariatric surgery or prescription medication compared to self-modification approaches only. Statistically, there was not a significant difference in the bariatric surgery and prescription medication groups.

Key points from Dr. Wang’s presentation included:

  • Approximately, 60% of the general population in the US are taking steps to lose weight. This highlights the need for patient education and weight management options.
  •  Among those who took measures to lose weight, the patients who utilized bariatric surgery or prescription medications reported being extremely or very satisfied compared to the self-modification group.
  •  There was no difference in bariatric surgery and prescription medications used in terms of treatment satisfaction.


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