Factors associated with completion of patient surveys 1 year after bariatric surgery

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Surg Obes Relat Dis


BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) obtained from follow-up survey data are essential to understanding the longitudinal effects of bariatric surgery. However, capturing data among patients who are well beyond the recovery period of surgery remains a challenge, and little is known about what factors may influence follow-up rates for PRO.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of hospital practices and surgical outcomes on patient survey completion rates at 1 year after bariatric surgery.

SETTING: Prospective, statewide, bariatric-specific clinical registry.

METHODS: Patients at hospitals participating in the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative are surveyed annually to obtain information on weight loss, medication use, satisfaction, body image, and quality of life following bariatric surgery. Hospital program coordinators were surveyed in June 2017 about their practices for ensuring survey completion among their patients. Hospitals were ranked based on 1-year patient survey completion rates between 2011 and 2015. Multivariable regression analyses were used to identify associations between hospital practices, as well as 30-day outcomes, on hospital survey completion rankings.

RESULTS: Overall, patient survey completion rates at 1 year improved from 2011 (33.9% ± 14.5%) to 2015 (51.0% ± 13.0%), although there was wide variability between hospitals (21.1% versus 77.3% in 2015). Hospitals in the bottom quartile for survey completion rates had higher adjusted rates of 30-day severe complications (2.6% versus 1.7%, respectively; P = .0481), readmissions (5.0% versus 3.9%, respectively; P = .0157), and reoperations (1.5% versus .7%, respectively; P = .0216) than those in the top quartile. While most hospital practices did not significantly impact survey completion at 1 year, physically handing out surveys during clinic visits was independently associated with higher completion rates (odds ratio, 13.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.99-93.03; P =.0078).

CONCLUSIONS: Hospitals vary considerably in completion rates of patient surveys at 1 year after bariatric surgery, and lower rates were associated with hospitals that had higher complication rates. Hospitals with the highest completion rates were more likely to physically hand surveys to patients during clinic visits. Given the value of PRO on longitudinal outcomes of bariatric surgery, improving data collection across multiple hospital systems is imperative.

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