Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Terri Furfaro

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Jerrica Ampadu


depression, depression screening, depression surveillance, protocol, adult, primary care, mental health, minority mental health


Depression is one of the most underdiagnosed and untreated disorders affecting more than 16 million people in the United States each year (Henry et al., 2020). Unmanaged depression can lead to emotional suffering, decreased productivity, reduced income, impaired relationships, and an increased risk for comorbidities (Sinisalchi et al., 2020). It can affect anyone, however, individuals who are non-white, female, undereducated, disabled, pregnant or postpartum, have low socioeconomic status, or lack social support are at an increased risk (United States Preventative Services Task Force, 2019). The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville We Care Clinic provides primary care to minority patient populations who are uninsured and have chronic comorbid health conditions. Despite providing care to a high-risk population for depression, the clinic did not have a standardized process to screen patients; therefore, an evidence-based quality improvement project was developed to address this inconsistency in care. The project’s goals were to develop a depression screening protocol for adult patients, improve staff knowledge of depression screening, and increase depression surveillance. Methods utilized included staff education, pre-and post-implementation staff surveys, and patient screenings. Results demonstrated an overall increase in the number of depression screenings conducted, improved staff confidence in administering depression screenings, and staff recognition of the protocol as a useful tool in clarifying when to screen patients. Continued use of the depression screening protocol has the potential to identify patients with depression and improve patient outcomes.

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