Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Coty, Mary-Beth

Committee Member

Clark, Rudy

Author's Keywords

older adults; geriatrics; depression; depression screening; patient health questionnaire; primary health care


Background: Depression is not a normal process of aging; it is a diagnosable and treatable medical condition. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that older adults be screened for depression annually.

Aim: The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to evaluate the depression screening process for older adults (age 65+) in a primary health care setting and provide recommendations to the primary health care clinic for improving it.

Methods: This EBP project involved collecting retrospective data from August to October 2022, including aggregate data (demographics), from all older adults who were seen in a primary health care clinic over a 3-month period, and individual data (demographics, diagnoses, chief complaint, PHQ-9 score, and what happened as a result of the screening) via medical records review.

Analysis: Descriptive statistics were conducted to: 1) describe the sample; 2) determine the percentage of older adults screened for depression (via PHQ-9); and 3) describe the outcomes associated with the screening.

Findings: The clinic reported a total of 702 encounters with older adults. Two (2) patients were screened for depression during their visit with the primary care provider (PCP). Approximately 54% of the older adult patients had completed a depression screening in the last year.

Conclusions: Key steps to ensure depression screening that meets EBP recommendations include: 1) policy development for depression screening; 2) education on depression, screening, tools, and execution; 3) and policy promotion.

Keywords: older adults, geriatrics, aged, depression, depression screening, patient health questionnaire, primary health care, collaborate care

Larson_Ashley_DNP_Signed_title_page.pdf (167 kB)
Signed Title Page

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Nursing Commons