Knowledge Transfer and Translation: Empowering Weight Loss Surgery Patients with Website and Social Media

Diana Lawlor, MN, RN, NP, James Ellsmere, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, Maureen Tilley, PDt, BScAHN. Capital Health

Despite Nova Scotia having the second highest prevalence of Type 2 DM and Obesity in Canada, funding to support more than 1800 patients on a wait list for weight loss surgery at any given time falls short. The Capital Health Weight Loss Surgery team which consists of one surgeon, one endocrinologist, one nurse practitioner (part time 0.7 FTE), one dieititan (part time 0.3FTE), one psychologist (part time 0.1 FTE), one physiotherapist (part time 0.1FTE) and 1 booking clerk (0.1 FTE) has worked to create an informative website to assist patients to prepare for weight loss surgery. They have also supported post surgery weight loss surgery patients to create a Facebook support group for pre and post surgery patients at Capital Health. Supportive information is posted on the CDHA Obesity Network pertaining to the qualifications for surgery, the surgical procedure, preparing for surgery and post surgery expectations. It also incorporates useful tips and education on making lifestyle changes mostly related to physical activity and nutrition. Patients are directed to go to this website, print off the information, assemble it in a binder and study it prior to meeting the team at the first clinic titled "What Is Weight Loss Surgery”. Among this information is a pre clinic quiz and in-depth health assessment to complete. The aim is to assist in gaining insight and knowledge regarding program information discussed at this first clinic meeting, to fully consider their health and reflect on their personal decision and goals in making lifestyle changes and pursuing surgery. This also encourages patients to have an opportunity to communicate and obtain support from their practitioners and other healthcare professionals in their community prior to their one-on-one meeting with the weight loss surgery team. Patients communicate feeling prepared for what to expect and recognize the website as a key tool to enhance knowledge with team supported documents/articles. Healthcare professionals can refer to the website for information on the referral process and surgical qualifications, as well as, gain knowledge of the weight loss surgery program in order to best support their patients. The FaceBook group is run by team selected leaders of patients who have progressed well in weight loss surgery. The group is specific to Capital Health patients such that to be involved in the group participants must be Capital Health Weight Loss Surgery Patients. Patients communicate appreciating this peer-to-peer support network at all stages of their weight loss surgery journey. This poster will focus on the Capital Health website components/information supplied and communication process/connection to the FaceBook support group. We feel it is a cost effective, efficient means of assisting patients to access key knowledge and support while empowering them to be active in accessing information and connections to support them in their weight loss surgery journey.

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