Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Kelley McGuire, PhD, CNE, RN, Assistant Professor

Project Team Faculty Member

Jerrica V. Ampadu, PhD, RN, CCP, Assistant


Occupational Health, Work-related injury, Psychological Needs, PHQ – 9, Depression, Patient Outcomes, Quality Improvement



Occupational injuries are disturbingly common and can occur regardless of employment industry, given that virtually every job in every industry has some degree of risk. Literature suggests that once an injury has occurred, psychosocial factors such as depression can play a pivotal role in the progression of pain, determine whether a subsequent disability develops, and the length of time an employee is off work.

Theoretical Framework

Both pain and depression are hypothesized to follow the same descending pathway in the CNS and have the same biochemical basis, serotonin and norepinephrine. The Biophysical Model of Pain can be used to explain this phenomena.


Currently in occupational health, patients are not screened for depression, leaving a gap in care. This QI project implemented the PHQ – 9 to screen for depression in patients > 18 years old seen for a work-related injury. All staff were surveyed after implementation to determine if this change was feasible and effective.


Per Likert-scale questionnaire 71.43% “strongly agreed” and 28.57% “somewhat agreed” that it would be feasible to continue utilizing the PHQ – 9 in daily practice. Some things the staff liked about using the PHQ – 9 in their own words “it is a good mental health tool” and “it’s an objective measurement of subjective reports”.

Implications for Practice

The results of this quality improvement project are promising and suggests it is feasible to utilize the PHQ – 9 to assess the psychological needs of patients injured in a work-related injury. Future work will include implementing routine screening as a protocol.

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Project Background_chpiers.docx (24 kB)
Project Background

Literature Review_chpiers.docx (67 kB)
Literature Review

Conceptual Framework_chpiers.docx (26 kB)
Conceptual Framework

Project Methods_chpiers.docx (25 kB)
Project Methods

Final Reference List_chpiers.docx (24 kB)
Final Reference List

Appendix 1_chpiers.pdf (872 kB)
Appendix 1

Appendix 2_chpiers.pdf (728 kB)
Appendix 2

Appendix 3_chpiers.pdf (279 kB)
Appendix 3

Appendix 4_chpiers.pdf (377 kB)
Appendix 4

Included in

Nursing Commons



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