BACKGROUND: Treatment options for weight loss vary considerably with regard to risks and benefits, but the relative importance of treatment characteristics in patient decision-making is largely unknown, particularly amongst patients with severe obesity. Developing such services requires insight into the preferences of recipients for service attributes.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to quantify, using a discrete choice experiment, the preferences of treatment-seeking patients with severe obesity within the Irish population regarding different attributes of various obesity treatments.
METHODS: Within a cohort of patients with severe obesity attending a hospital-based weight management programme, patients' attitudes to and perceptions of three distinct treatment modalities were compared to those regarding not having treatment. The treatments included a structured lifestyle modification programme, lifestyle modification alongside weight loss medication, and bariatric surgery.
RESULTS: On average, patients with severe and complicated obesity who were attending a weight management programme were more enthusiastic about participating in a programme to help improve their diet and physical activity than they were about having surgery if the methods of treatment had equivalent results and costs.
CONCLUSION: The findings provide insights into preferences that might assist the development of more appropriate treatments for severe obesity.