Preoperative Education and Informed Consent in Young Adults Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: Patients’ Perspectives on Current Practice

Preoperative Education and Informed Consent in Young Adults Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: Patients’ Perspectives on Current Practice
Wouter K.G. Leclercq, Daniëlle S. Bonouvrie, Charlotte E.J.M. Dohmen, Martine Uittenbogaart, Johan Legemaate, Laurents P.S. Stassen, and François M.H. van Dielen
Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, 31 December 2020
Abstract
Background
Preoperative education is part of the informed consent process and should enable patients to make an informed decision. Aim of this study was to gain a more detailed insight in the perceptions and experiences of the informed consent process of young adults undergoing bariatric surgery.
Methods
Fifty-five young adults, aged 18–25 years, who underwent bariatric surgery, were invited to participate in a semistructured interview. The interview covered three main topics: education of specific informed consent domains, perioperative expectations and experiences, and personal (un)certainties related to undergoing bariatric surgery.
Results
Twenty-seven patients participated in a semistructured interview. Mean age was 23.1 ± 1.6 years. All consent domains were remembered by the patients, but 24/27 patients could not recall one or more complications. Inadequate weight loss was not recalled by 6/27 patients. Common remarks were that the preoperative education focused mainly on the positive results. Negative effects were inadequately educated.
Conclusions
Physicians should educate patients more about the negative effects of a treatment and should focus more on specific age-related problems and social interactions. Improved preoperative education, including possible outcome scenarios to assess risks and lifetime consequences, should be developed to improve informed consent in these patients.

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