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Study to compare benefits of bariatric surgery methods

Sep. 3, 2015, 9:27 AM

Vanderbilt University researchers are participating in a national study to compare the health benefits and safety of three main methods of bariatric, or weight-loss surgery.

The goal of the two-year, $4.5 million study, funded by the independent Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), is to provide patients and their health care providers the information they need to choose which method is best for them.

The study will compare outcomes of gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy by reviewing the records of more than 60,000 patients who had one of the procedures within the past decade. Data will be provided by 10 clinical research networks (CDRNs), including the Vanderbilt-led Mid-South CDRN.

David Schlundt, Ph.D.

“We’re pleased to be a part of this national effort to put together the largest study ever done to evaluate the impact of bariatric surgery,” said obesity researcher David Schlundt, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt, who will lead Mid-South CDRN’s contribution to the study.

Longtime patient advocate Neely Williams, M.Div., a member of the Mid-South CDRN Stakeholder Engagement Team, is co-principal investigator of the national study led by the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative. She said her role was to ensure “the patient’s voice is heard and … concerns are addressed throughout the research process.”

Established in early 2014 with a $6.9 million PCORI award, the Mid-South CDRN initially brought together the Vanderbilt Health System, the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network and Greenway Health, a national electronic health records company.

Through the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, the Mid-South CDRN partners with Meharry Medical College, Nashville General Hospital and the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.

Recently the Mid-South CDRN received an additional three-year, $8.5 million funding award from PCORI to partner with the Carolinas Collaborative, which includes Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Medical University of South Carolina, and Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC).

This diverse array of academic and community hospitals, primary care and specialty practices and community health centers in rural and urban areas now encompasses more than 9 million patients in the Southeast plus 14 million patients nationally through Greenway Health.

Schlundt is a member of the Behavioral and Interventional Research Group in the Vanderbilt Institute for Obesity and Metabolism and an investigator in the Vanderbilt Center for Diabetes Translation Research.

Neely is a member of the Community Advisory Council, which advises the Meharry-Vanderbilt Community-Engaged Research Core of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

The funding award for the bariatric study has been approved by PCORI’s Board pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.

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