For Physicians

GROUP SESSIONS FOR BARIATRIC PATIENTS IMPROVES SUCCESS:

Dear Physician;

Thank you for referring your patient to an OHIP based clinic that specializes in weight management and the treatment of conditions affected by excess weight, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.

Your patients appreciate your involvement in this clinic.

The treatment of bariatric patients is challenging, and it is very evident that the most important aspect to care is education and patient involvement. Individuals learn the most in group settings. Many studies have demonstrated that weight management is best treated in a group environment with patients learning from each other and sharing knowledge. The study by Renjilian, Perri et al.1 demonstrated that even when patients consider themselves individual learners, they lost more weight when treated in a group setting.

The Wharton Medical Clinic uses group as well as individual education classes for all patients. Every patient visit will start with a 15- 20 minute small group education session by a bariatric educator and then all patients will be seen individually by an internist and a bariatric educator. Personal medical information will not be shared during the group sessions.

We are proud of our multidiscplinary format, working towards delivering this format. We have received terrific feedback from patients and physicians, and certainly we see this method of delivering education and bariatric treatment as the new frontier for government based (OHIP) lifestyle management of bariatric patients.

From all of the physicians & staff at the Wharton Medical – thank you for your continued support.

Sean Wharton, MD, FRCPC
Director of the Wharton Medical Clinic
Lead Author of the Weight Management Section of the Canadian Diabetes Guidelines

1. Renjilian, D. A.; Perri, M.G.; et al. Individual versus group therapy for obesity: Effects of matching participants to their treatment preferences.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 69(4), Aug 2001, 717-721.