Date of Conferral



Doctor of Healthcare Administration, DHA


Health Services


Jeanne Connors


Improving the quality of health care in the United States has been an ongoing challenge for decades. As health care providers seek to provide unsurpassed levels of health care, disparities continue to exist among races. Racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of health care persist that affect African American women disproportionally. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of African American women with regard to quality health care following bariatric surgery. Using a phenomenological approach, semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 African American women who had suboptimal weight loss outcomes following bariatric surgery. Data from the interviews were coded, analyzed, and assigned emergent themes to broader categories relating to the study’s conceptual framework. The Donabedian Quality of Care model is the framework that was used to develop the boarder categories, which were structure of care and process of care (technical and interpersonal). Structure of care themes included care setting and strategic planning. Process of care themes included shared information, weight loss expectation, continuous care, care and compassion, communication, supportive care, personal challenges, and education. The key themes that were identified confirmed that structure of care and process of care has an influence on weight loss outcomes. Using the results of this study underpins a need for health administrators to consider developing care plans that focus on the cultural needs of African American women following bariatric surgery. As a contribution to social change, this project may help to reduce the prevalence of racial and ethnic health disparities and improve the overall health of African American women.