Examining Current Depression Screening Practices for Nurse Practitioners in Southern Arizona who Care for Patients with Heart Failure
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBackground: Heart failure is a common and costly disease with high rates of morbidity and mortality. There is a disproportionate rate of depression in this population that can go untreated and unrecognized for years. The aim of this descriptive study is to assess nurse practitioners' depression screening practices in patients with heart failure. Methods: An anonymous 24-question electronic survey regarding depression-screening practices was distributed to nurse practitioners via the Southern Arizona Advanced Practice Nurse/Nurse Practice Society listserv and Allied Health Professionals of Yuma listserv. The results were then analyzed using SPSS and Qualtrics software. Results: Nurse Practitioners (n=16) participated in the survey. Unanimously, practitioners believed that treating patients for depression would lead to better health outcomes. However, barriers were identified such as appointment time, belief that screening is not necessary, more pressing concerns for that appointment visit, and the concern that patients are not receptive to discuss depression during their visits. 87.5% practitioners believed that patients with depression have poorer outcomes, 56% believe that it is important to screen for depression at every visit, however, only 25% of respondents report screening for depression at every visit and 18.8% reported not screening at all. Conclusions: Depression screening, treatment, and management appear to be important qualities of care as evidenced by the literature. Additionally, respondents of this study believe that treating depression leads to better health outcomes, however, there are barriers to adequate screening such as appointment time, more pressing concerns to address and lack of resources to follow up appropriately. The results do find that providers who believe there is a high rate of depression in patients with HF and believe it is important to screen, are more inclined to screen regularly, regardless of time constraints.
Degree ProgramGraduate College