RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Best practice updates for informed consent and patient education in weight loss surgery.

Obesity 2009 May
To update evidence-based best practice guidelines for obtaining informed consent from weight loss surgery (WLS) patients, with an emphasis on appropriate content and communications approaches that might enhance patient understanding of the information, we performed a systematic search of English-language literature published between April 2004 and May 2007 in MEDLINE and the Cochrane database. Keywords included WLS and informed consent, comprehension, health literacy, and patient education; and WLS and outcomes, risk, patient safety management, and effectiveness. Recommendations are based on the most current literature and the consensus of the expert panel; they were graded according to systems used in established evidence-based models. We identified over 120 titles, 38 of which were reviewed in detail. Evidence suggests that WLS outcomes, including long-term rates of relapse, vary by procedure. For some weight loss surgeries, long-term outcomes may not be known. Risks also vary by patient and provider characteristics. Informed consent should incorporate realistic projections of the short- and long-term risks, benefits, and consequences of surgery, as well as alternatives to WLS. For consent to be informed, the education process should continue until the patient demonstrates comprehension of all relevant material and concepts. Confirmation of comprehension can protect patients engaged in the process of consent for WLS. Future research should focus on the outcomes and consequences of WLS, and different approaches that facilitate patient understanding of, and decision making about, WLS.

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