Evaluating healthcare professionals knowledge, beliefs and understanding of the importance of evidence-based depression and suicide screening: A quality improvement project

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The Ohio State University

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BACKGROUND: Depression is a growing epidemic affecting individuals of all ages and will become the second leading cause of disability by 2020. Over 300 million people are affected and there are approximately 3000 deaths daily as a result of this public health crisis. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this quality improvement project was to evaluate what healthcare professionals know about depression and any attitudes or beliefs about the importance of screening for depression and suicide among patients who present to Emergency Department settings. DESIGN: A three-part survey was developed and distributed to registered nurses and advanced practice providers who work within the Emergency Departments and standalone emergency centers within a network organization. RESULTS: A total of 56 participants completed the survey across the network facilities and identified areas in which the organization can improve the screening process to identify individuals in need of services and/or resources to address depression or depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: Even though the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that all individuals are screened at the primary care level for depression and suicide, there are no set guidelines to identify screening among individuals who visit an Emergency Department setting. The Emergency Department has been identified as the most underutilized facility to screen and to help provide individuals with treatment options or resources so that he or she can manage depressive symptoms. The results of this quality improvement project indicate that there is a need to ensure that the staff is kept updated about this condition and the proper training in place to help them successful screen individuals.



depression, diagnosis, attitude, knowledge, beliefs, emergency department