How we are conducting the PCORnet Bariatric Study

Basic Information about the study

The PCORnet Bariatric Study collects data from two sources—health care and directly from individuals via focus groups and interviews.

We collect health care data using the PCORnet Common Data Model. This data model allows the lead study team to write one query that can then be sent to dozens of health systems. Each health system runs the query locally, returning de-identified data through secure transfer methods. The lead site then combines all the data for analysis. Health care data are used to answer the main aims of the study — how do bariatric procedures for weight loss compare to each other when it comes to weight loss, diabetes risk, and adverse events?

Using real-world health care data helps ensure our findings can inform treatment decisions by all people affected by obesity — not just certain groups whose members sign up for research studies. There is only so much we can learn from health care data, though, so we also talked with individuals and bariatric surgeons.

What we asked

We conducted focus groups with people around the U.S. to learn:

  • Why they chose to — or chose not to — have bariatric surgery.
  • We asked those who had had bariatric surgery why they chose a particular surgery type and about their health care experience after surgery. 

We also interviewed bariatric surgeons from around the U.S. We asked them how they determine which surgery may be best for a patient and how they provide care to patients after bariatric surgery.  


Contact: Jane Anau
Research Project Manager