Halil Özgüç, Mustafa Narmanlı, Hakan Çırnaz

1Clinic of General Surgery, Private Medicabil Hospital, Bursa, Turkey
2Uludag University Faculty of Medicine, Bursa, Turkey


Objective: This survey study attempted to determine Turkish primary care physicians’ (PCP) knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of obesity treatment and bariatric surgery. Moreover, the relationship between the duration of practice as a physician, and especially the indications for bariatric surgery and referral to surgery were investigated.

Material and Methods: A survey of 27 questions was administered via social media and the internet using the SurveyMonkey platform. The physicians who responded to the survey were grouped based on the duration of working life. Among these groups, the responses to the questions about bariatric surgery were compared using univariate analysis.

Results: A total of 1044 physicians responded to the survey. The number of physicians who strongly agreed that a PCP should play role in the treatment of obesity was 743 (71.1%). The most important reason for not undertaking this treatment was reported as the requirement for a multidisciplinary approach to obesity treatment (51.5%, n= 537). The percentage of those who thought that patients with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 kg/m2 should be referred to surgery was 72.3%,while the percentage of those referring patients with a BMI of 35-40 kg/m2 and comorbidities to surgery was 53.3%, and the percentage of those referring patients with a BMI of 35-40 kg/m2 and uncontrolled diabetes to surgery was 35.9%. Physicians who were new to the profession were found to evaluate surgical indications more positively (p< 0.05).

Conclusion: This study found that PCPs in Turkey had a basic knowledge of obesity treatment and were willing to treat and follow up these patients. However, it was observed that they could not adequately focus on this issue due to the requirement for a multidisciplinary approach to the disease and the workload. It was found that the young physiciansð level of knowledge of bariatric surgery was higher, but their attitudes towards patient referral were similar.

Keywords: Primary care physicians, obesity treatment, obesity surgery, survey study

Cite this article as: Özgüç H, Narmanlı M, Çırnaz H. Turkish primary care physicians’ attitudes and knowledge of obesity and bariatric surgery: a survey study. Turk J Surg 2021; 37 (3): 266-276.


Ethics Committee Approval

The approval for the study was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Uludag University ethics committee approval number: 2019-10/4).

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept -H.Ö., M.N.; Design - H.Ö., M.N.; Supervision - H.Ö.; Materials - M.N., H.Ç.; Data Collection and/or Processing - H.Ç.; Literature Review - H.Ö., M.N.; Writing Manuscript - H.Ö.; Critical Reviews - H.Ö.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.