An investigation of chiropractor-directed weight-loss interventions: secondary analysis of O-COAST

Peter J.H. Beliveau*, Michael A. McIsaac, Silvano A. Mior, Simon D. French

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate weight-loss interventions offered by Canadian doctors of chiropractic to their adult patients. Methods: This paper reports a secondary analysis of data from the Ontario Chiropractic Observation and Analysis STudy (Nc = 42 chiropractors, Np = 2162 patient encounters). Multilevel logistic regression was performed to assess the odds of chiropractors initiating or continuing weight management interventions with patients. Two chiropractor variables and 8 patient-level variables were investigated for influence on chiropractor-directed weight management. In addition, the interaction between the effects of patient weight and comorbidity on weight management interventions by chiropractors was assessed. Results: Around two-thirds (61.3%) of patients who sought chiropractic care were either overweight or had obesity. Very few patients had weight loss managed by their chiropractor. Among patients with body mass index equal to or greater than 18.5 kg/m2, guideline recommended weight management was initiated or continued by Ontario chiropractors in only 5.4% of encounters. Chiropractors did not offer weight management interventions at different rates among patients who were of normal weight, overweight, or obese (P value = 0.23). Chiropractors who graduated after 2005 who may have been exposed to reforms in chiropractic education to include public health were significantly more likely to offer weight management than chiropractors who graduated between 1995 and 2005 (odds ratio 0.02; 95% CI [0.00-0.13]) or before 1995 (odds ratio 0.08; 95% CI [0.01-0.42]). Conclusion: The prevalence of weight management interventions offered to patients by Canadian chiropractors in Ontario was low. Health care policy and continued chiropractic educational reforms may provide further direction to improve weight-loss interventions offered by doctors of chiropractic to their patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)353-365
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
    Issue number5
    Early online date29 Jun 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • weight Loss
    • chiropractic
    • public Health


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