Background

Patients preparing for bariatric surgery receive a significant amount of nutrition education that varies significantly among different programs. There are limited objective measures for evaluating patients’ preparedness for bariatric surgery. The current study evaluated the ability of a preoperative nutrition education recall test to predict postoperative success and achievement of recommended dietary goals.

Methods

246 patients completed a program of monthly preoperative nutrition education group classes through standardized lectures led by registered dieticians. Patients completed a preoperative test to assess nutrition education recall and subsequently a 2-week postoperative survey that assessed achievement of nutrition goals. Bivariate statistics including independent sample t-test and Pearson’s correlation test were used to examine the association between total preoperative test score, self-reported completion of recommended nutrition goals, and percent excess weight loss(%EWL).

Results

Patients completed on average 5.63 ±2.20months of nutrition education classes before having bariatric surgery. The preoperative test score ranged from 8 to 21 points with a mean of 18.21 ±2.47points. Preoperative test scores were significantly associated with postoperative vitamin preparedness(p=0.01) and 3-months %EWL(p=0.05). Test scores were not significantly associated with achieving the recommended average daily protein consumption, daily hydration volume, need to contact the bariatric team, level of self-rated confidence in postoperative care knowledge, and %EWL at 2-weeks or 6-weeks.

Conclusions

Our preoperative nutrition education recall test scores were associated with 3-month postoperative weight loss and vitamin preparedness, but further development of preoperative patient assessment tools are needed to predict potential for early nutrition goal failure for targeted rescue education.