Background: The combination of intragastric balloons (IGB) with comprehensive lifestyle and behavioral changes is critical for ongoing weight loss. Many community and rural practices do not have access to robust obesity resources, limiting the use of IGBs. Online aftercare programs were developed in response to this need, delivering lifestyle coaching to maximize effectiveness. How these programs compare to traditional follow-up is currently unknown. Methods: Using propensity scoring (PS) methods, two large prospective databases of patients undergoing IGB therapy were compared to estimate the difference in percent total body weight loss (%TBWL) between groups while identifying predictors of response. Results: Seven hundred fifty-eight unique patients across 78 different participating practices (online n = 437; clinical registry n = 321) was analyzed. The mean %TBWL at balloon removal was 11% ± 6.9 with an estimated treatment difference (ETD) between online and traditional follow-up of − 1.5% TBWL (95% CI − 3–0.4%; p = 0.125). Three months post-balloon removal, the combined %TBWL was 12.2% ± 8.3 with an ETD of only 1% TBWL (95%CI – 3–3%; p = 0.08). On multivariable linear regression, each incremental follow-up was associated with increased %TBWL (β = 0.6% p = 0.002). Conclusion: Online IGB aftercare programs provide similar weight loss compared with traditional programs. Increased lifestyle coaching whether in person or remotely is associated with more %TBWL at removal and during follow-up. Close follow-up for clinical symptoms is still warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics