Improving a Depression Screening Process for College Students

Background: Depression among college students is an increasing problem, which can negatively impact quality of life and overall health. Depression can lead to harmful or violent behavior, like suicide, which is the second most common cause of death for people ages 15-29. Screening college students for depression is an efficient way to identify symptoms early and offer resources and referral for treatment.

Local Problem: Students who seek healthcare at Student Health Services (SHS) at a state university are screened for depression with the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) survey every 30 days, however sometimes this important step is missed.

Methods: This quality improvement (QI) project aimed to administer PHQ-2 surveys at every visit and offer resources to students who scored at risk for depression. The rate of survey completion was measured as well as staff’s evaluation of the project in a survey. Interventions: The interventions were designed to reeducate nursing staff, measure completed PHQ-2 surveys, as well as evaluate the number of resources given to students at risk for depression.

Results: At a completion rate of 82%, 1,432 PHQ-2 surveys were completed. Of those students, 81 individual scores indicated potential for depression. An estimated 42 students received resources regarding their risk for depression. Overall, nurses reported this project increased their knowledge and better supported students.

Conclusions: This project increased the screening rate of students and provided an opportunity to offer resources to students at risk for depression. Nurses were able to incorporate this process into their workflow.

Keywords: college students, universities, depression, screening, PHQ-2

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Work Title Improving a Depression Screening Process for College Students
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Megan W. Benton
Keyword
  1. College students
  2. Universities
  3. Depression
  4. Screening
  5. PHQ-2
  6. DNP Project
License No Copyright - U.S.
Work Type Project
Acknowledgments
  1. Dr. Rachel Allen, PhD, PMHNP-BC, RN
  2. Dr. Beth Ann White, DNP, CRNP, ANP-C, CNE
  3. Dr. Sharilee Hrabovsky, DEd, MSN, FNP-BC
Publication Date March 2, 2024
Deposited March 02, 2024

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Version 1
published

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Added Creator Megan W. Benton
  • Added Creator Rachel Allen
  • Added Creator BETH WHITE
  • Added Creator Sharilee Hrabovsky
  • Added Benton_M_FINAL_DNP_PAPER.docx
  • Updated License Show Changes
    License
    • https://rightsstatements.org/page/NoC-US/1.0/
  • Updated Acknowledgments Show Changes
    Acknowledgments
    • Dr. Rachel Allen, PhD, PMHNP-BC, RN, Dr. Beth Ann White, DNP, CRNP, ANP-C, CNE, Dr. Sharilee Hrabovsky, DEd, MSN, FNP-BC
  • Deleted Creator Rachel Allen
  • Deleted Creator BETH WHITE
  • Deleted Creator Sharilee Hrabovsky
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Description Show Changes
    Keyword
    • college students, universities, depression, screening, PHQ-2, DNP Project
    • College students, Universities, Depression, Screening, PHQ-2, DNP Project
    Description
    • Abstract
    • Background: Depression among college students is an increasing problem, which can negatively impact quality of life and overall health. Depression can lead to harmful or violent behavior, like suicide, which is the second most common cause of death for people ages 15-29. Screening college students for depression is an efficient way to identify symptoms early and offer resources and referral for treatment.
    • Local Problem: Students who seek healthcare at Student Health Services (SHS) at a state university are screened for depression with the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) survey every 30 days, however sometimes this important step is missed.
    • Methods: This quality improvement (QI) project aimed to administer PHQ-2 surveys at every visit and offer resources to students who scored at risk for depression. The rate of survey completion was measured as well as staff’s evaluation of the project in a survey.
    • Interventions: The interventions were designed to reeducate nursing staff, measure completed PHQ-2 surveys, as well as evaluate the number of resources given to students at risk for depression.
    • Results: At a completion rate of 82%, 1,432 PHQ-2 surveys were completed. Of those students, 81 individual scores indicated potential for depression. An estimated 42 students received resources regarding their risk for depression. Overall, nurses reported this project increased their knowledge and better supported students.
    • Conclusions: This project increased the screening rate of students and provided an opportunity to offer resources to students at risk for depression. Nurses were able to incorporate this process into their workflow.
    • Keywords: college students, universities, depression, screening, PHQ-2
  • Updated