Assessing Arizona's Pediatric Nurse Practitioner's Attitudes, Knowledge, and Practice Behaviors for Adolescent Mental Health Screenings
AuthorRiggs, Kelli J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIntroduction: Adolescent Mental health is a growing topic of concern for pediatric nurse practitioners. Adolescents are known for risky behaviors that can lead to poor health habits, unintentional and intentional injuries. There are recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the National Prevention Council (NPC) to screen adolescents for mental health concerns including depression and suicide. There are established guidelines and evidenced based screening tools to assist practitioners in screening for at risk adolescents. Yet many practitioners are unaware of these screening tools or do not feel comfortable discussing these difficult topics with adolescent. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess Arizona’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioners' attitude, knowledge, and practice behaviors towards adolescent mental health screenings. The Theory of Planned Behavior was used to address the relationship between the practitioner’s perceived predictive behaviors and actual behaviors. By assessing practitioners’ experience with adolescence mental health screening, barriers were identified for planned future implementation studies. Methods: From this DNP project, a survey was created and electronically distributed to members of the Arizona Chapter of NAPNAP. There were 23 participants who completed the survey. A Likert-scale was used to allow the participants to express their experiences and concerns. Results: The survey showed that most pediatric nurse practitioners strongly agreed about the importance of screening adolescent for mental health concerns such as depression and suicide. The survey also found that although the PNPs felt willing to discuss the topics, their lack of knowledge about the recommendations resulted in them not screening every adolescent every time. Conclusion: The survey showed that PNPs identified adolescent with mental health concerns including depression and suicide in their practice. The results of the survey showed the PNPs are willing to discuss these topics, but need more knowledge and training regarding screening tools. In addition, the survey identified the barriers in screening of adolescents' mental health which include financial reimbursement and time management. Future studies should focus on improving mental health education for pediatric practitioners and resources to assist them in screening their adolescent patients.
Degree ProgramGraduate College