Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Obesity continues to be a growing problem across the United States. Chiropractors have made claims of providing health promotion services within their treatment protocol; however, there is a lack of empirical research regarding a need for the chiropractic profession to train chiropractors to address Healthy People 2020 public health initiatives. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perceptions of Mississippi Delta Region chiropractors regarding their role in obesity management as nonmedical practitioners that implement public health objectives in their practice. The research questions aimed at addressing possible barriers and limitations that influenced chiropractors' perceptions regarding their role in obesity prevention. The health promotion model which recognizes the vital role of the practitioner to the patient relationship in health outcomes, guided this study. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 11 eligible board-certified chiropractors in the Mississippi Delta. The participants encountered a 1-time session with open-ended interview questions influenced by the hermeneutic tradition. Interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings indicated that chiropractors could treat obese patients and provide some services that are mostly provided and billed by other health care practitioners. Chiropractors, however, encounter legislative and insurance challenges. Outreach programs and collaboration with other health care practitioners would improve chiropractors' role in obesity management. The study can contribute to social change by increasing understanding of the chiropractic profession and how they may offer health promotion services to improve patient management of obesity and obesity-related illnesses.