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Patients' views and experiences of a live supervised tele-exercise programme following bariatric surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic: the BARI-LIFESTYLE qualitative study

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Jassil, Friedrich C.  ORCID logo
Richards, Rebecca 
Lewis, Neville 
Carnemolla, Alisia 
Montagut-Pino, Gemma 


Summary: The BARI‐LIFESTYLE trial is a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of a post‐surgery nutritional and behavioural tele‐counselling, and supervised exercise programme to maximize the health benefits of bariatric surgery. Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, the in‐person supervised exercise component had to be converted to remote tele‐exercise. However, patients' acceptability of this method of exercise provision is unknown. Between 3 and 6 months following bariatric surgery, 13 adults participated in weekly, structured, 60‐min supervised exercise classes delivered via Zoom by a trained exercise therapist. A total of 12 participants (n = 8 female), with a mean age of 46.3 (range 33–63) years, who had undergone either sleeve gastrectomy (n = 8) or Roux‐en‐Y gastric bypass (n = 4) surgery, participated in one‐to‐one semi‐structured interviews following the tele‐exercise classes. Interviews were audio‐recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants described how the tele‐exercise classes helped them to cope with the changes to their lives brought about by the COVID‐19 pandemic. Participants found the tele‐exercise schedule, content and intensity to be acceptable, and were satisfied with the privacy, security and safety of the technology and classes. Professional supervision and guidance from an exercise therapist were described as central to the tele‐exercise provision. Importantly, participation in the tele‐exercise provided physical, emotional and social benefits. Few participants reported barriers to participation. Overall, the tele‐exercise classes were deemed acceptable and compared favourably to in‐person exercise classes.


Funder: Rosetrees Trust; Id:

Funder: Sir Jules Thorn Trust Biomedical Research Award

Funder: University College London Overseas Research Scholarship (UCL‐ORS)


Original Research Article, Original Research Articles, bariatric surgery, COVID‐19, exercise, physical activity, qualitative, telehealth

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Blackwell Publishing Ltd
National Institute for Health Research (RP‐2015‐06‐005)