Project Summary

PCORI implementation projects promote the use of findings from PCORI-funded studies. The initiative on Implementation of Effective Shared Decision Making Approaches in Practice Settings funds projects like this one to promote the use of shared decision making strategies tested in PCORI-funded studies or incorporating evidence from PCORI-funded research, to support patients in making informed decisions about their care. 

This project is in progress.

What were the results from the original PCORI-funded research study?

The PCORnet® Bariatric Study tracked the outcomes of more than 46,000 people with severe obesity who had one of three types of weight loss surgery. Each type uses a different method to limit how much food the stomach can hold. The research team found large differences in how much weight people lost after surgery, whether patients’ diabetes improved, and whether people needed additional surgery.

Why is this research finding important?

Severe obesity can increase patients’ risk of illness or death and decrease their quality of life. Weight loss surgery can help. But each type of surgery has risks and benefits. Doctors and patients need to be able to talk about these risks and benefits, as well as the patient’s preferences and goals, to make a decision together about what type of surgery, if any, is the best match for the patient.

What is the goal of this project?

The project team wants to make the results of the PCORnet Bariatric Study part of the decisions patients make with their doctors about weight loss surgery.

What is the project team doing?

The project team is adding results from the PCORnet Bariatric Study to a decision aid that patients can use when thinking about weight loss surgery. Decision aids help people choose between two or more treatment options based on what is most important to them. The decision aid is part of a broader process for shared decision making between doctors and patients that the team is designing at two health systems. Working with four bariatric clinics and nine surgeons, the team is making results from the study part of shared decision making discussions for more than 4,000 patients.

How is the team evaluating this project?

The project team is looking at how well clinics use the shared decision making process. They are looking at patient health records and using patient surveys to find out how patients rate shared decision making with doctors before and after the four clinics start using the new process. The team is also looking at how often patients use the decision aid and what treatment choices they make. They are also looking at how satisfied doctors are with the process.

How is the team involving patients and others in making sure the findings reach people who can use them?

Patients, weight loss surgeons, primary care doctors, and experts in shared decision making are part of the project team. They are working with patient advocacy groups, health systems, and health insurers to share the results of the project for others to use.

Learn more about PCORI’s Dissemination and Implementation program here.

Related PCORI-funded Research Project

Comparing Three Types of Weight Loss Surgery -- The PCORnet Bariatric Study


Benefits of Using a Shared Decision Making Approach for Weight Loss Surgery
David Arterburn discusses why a shared decision making approach was chosen to disseminate the findings of The PCORnet Bariatric Study, explaining how shared decision making between patients and providers helps them choose the best surgical option for weight loss based on individual preferences.

Using Shared Decision Making to Disseminate PCORnet® Bariatric Study Findings
Arterburn discusses his recent PCORI Dissemination and Implementation Award, which is taking the findings from The PCORnet Bariatric Study to create decision aids for patients and providers to help them make better-informed choices among their options for weight loss surgery.

Project Information

David Arterburn, MD, MPH
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington

Key Dates

36 months
March 2019
June 2022

Study Registration Information


Project Status
Award Type
Health Conditions

Health Conditions

These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them.

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Funding Opportunity Type


The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located.

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Last updated: October 28, 2021