On-line bariatric surgery information session as effective as in-person information session

Lisa Eaton, Christine Walsh, Thomas Magnuson, Michael Schweitzer, Anne Lidor, Hien Nguyen, Kimberley Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: All patients at our academic medical center complete a mandatory bariatric surgery information session before scheduling their first clinic visit. The patients could attend an in-person information session or view a prerecorded information session through our Web site. The study aimed to compare the information retention after both delivery methods using an institutional review board-approved test in an academic medical center in the United States. Methods: From February 2010 through March 2011, 338 tests were voluntarily completed by new preoperative bariatric patients at their clinic visit. The patients provided basic demographic information, co-morbid medical conditions, and identified which bariatric procedures they were interested in. The test assessed the retention of information delivered during the information session, including knowledge of the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery, the surgical options available at our center, and the steps commonly required for insurance approval. The patients and surgeons were kept unaware of the results. Results: Of the patients, 54% attended the on-line information session; 80% of these participants were women, and their mean body mass index was 48.09 kg/m 2. The remaining 46% attended the in-person information session, and 83% of these participants were women and their mean body mass index was 49.08 kg/m 2. The average test score was 85.69% for the on-line group and 80.32% for the in-person group. The difference in test scores for the on-line and in-person groups was statistically significant (P =.003). Conclusion: Internet-based training is rapidly becoming a key educational tool. Our results suggest that on-line training has the potential to be as effective as traditional in-person training in educating patients about bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery centers might consider incorporating on-line training into their educational programs as a convenient and potentially effective way to educate patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Education
  • Information session
  • Internet
  • On-line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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