Review article| Volume 17, ISSUE 12, P2065-2080, December 2021

Are eHealth interventions for adults who are scheduled for or have undergone bariatric surgery as effective as usual care? A systematic review

  • Charlene Wright
    Correspondence: Charlene Wright, 1 Parklands Dr, Southport QLD 4215 Australia.
    School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre of Applied Health Economics and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, Australia
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  • Rumbidzai N. Mutsekwa
    School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre of Applied Health Economics and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, Australia

    Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Nutrition and Food Service Department, Queensland, Australia

    School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
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  • Kyra Hamilton
    School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
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  • Katrina L. Campbell
    School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre of Applied Health Economics and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, Australia

    Healthcare Excellence and Innovation, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Queensland, Australia
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  • Jaimon Kelly
    School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre of Applied Health Economics and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Southport, Australia

    Centre for Online Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
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Published:August 02, 2021DOI:


      • eHealth was found to deliver an equal effect or be more effective for weight loss.
      • Both eHealth and control groups regained weight in the longer term.
      • eHealth significantly improved assessment measures for eating psychopathology.


      This systematic review aimed to evaluate the effect of eHealth-delivered interventions for adults who undergo bariatric surgery on postoperative weight loss, weight loss maintenance, eating psychopathology, quality of life, depression screening, and self-efficacy. Six electronic databases were searched, with 14 studies (across 17 reports) included, involving 1633 participants. With substantial heterogeneity, qualitative descriptions have been provided. Interventions were delivered via an online program or internet modules (n = 2), telephone (n = 2), text messages (n = 2), videoconferencing (n = 3), mobile application (n = 1), and audiovisual media (n = 1). Three studies included a combination, including internet modules and telephone (n = 1), wireless fidelity scales, emails, and telephone (n = 1), and a combination of online treatment, weekly emails, and access to a private Facebook group (n = 1). All the eHealth interventions, except for one, implemented behavior change techniques, including self-monitoring, problem solving, social support, goal setting, and shaping knowledge. Both eHealth intervention and control groups lost weight across the included studies, and eHealth was found to be as effective as or more effective than the control for weight loss. Two studies measured weight loss maintenance; both eHealth and control groups regained weight in the longer term. The interventions showed significant improvement on assessment measures for eating psychopathology. In conclusion, when bariatric surgery patients have limited or no access to healthcare teams or require additional support, eHealth may be a suitable option. Future studies implementing eHealth interventions would benefit from reporting intervention components as per the behavior change techniques taxonomy and further consideration of delivering eHealth in a stepped care approach would be beneficial.

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