First Advisor

Cathy Witt

Second Advisor

Patricia Cullen


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

57 pages


The national obesity rate continues to rise along with numerous correlating health disparities in Colorado. According to Andolf and Fisichella (2018), obesity currently affects 78.6 million people in the United States. Obesity is without a doubt a major health concern. Obesity in children and adolescents is a growing concern in the United States, where one fifth of the entire population from age two to nineteen in 2011-2014 was obese (Obesity, Diet and Mortality Trends, 2016). The objective of this project was to examine experiences of healthcare providers caring for the obese Hispanic population. Determining the experiences in providing care for these patients will ideally determine ways to improve their health outcomes. Nearly 1/3 of the adult US population is now estimated to be obese (Flegal, Graubard, Williamson, & Gail 2016). Furthermore, initiating change in practice may occur based on outcomes of this project. Delivering equality healthcare for the underserved may help reduce the ill effects of social determinates of health and can improve correlating health impacts that directly relate to obesity. Illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, healthcare access and affordability directly impact the underserved and equality in healthcare can bridge the gap with the underserved population. Exploring provider experiences may identify ways to allow healthcare to be proactive verses reactive in terms of obesity. The nurse researcher conducted 15-20-minute voluntary face-to-face interviews that were audio-recorded, transcribed and coded for themes. Methodology used for this project was a phenomenological qualitative study that looked at lived experiences of providers. Three broad themes were identified, with subcategories. The three main themes include, nursing barriers to caring for obesity, factors contributing to client obesity, and proposed changes to care.

Date of Award

Fall 2019

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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