Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Kathy Wheeler

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Joanne Brown

Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Tovar


Depression affects many people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability. National guidelines and recommendations have been created that support screening for depression in the primary care setting, however due to many barriers depression screening is often not performed or documented. This capstone project consists of three manuscripts, which evaluate the lack of depression screening in the primary care setting. The first manuscript is an integrative review of the literature to support depression screening in primary care and to address barriers to depression screening. The second manuscript is a guideline analysis of a national guideline published by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement which recommends depression screening in the primary care setting and provides follow-up and treatment recommendations for primary care providers. The third manuscript discusses the planning and implementation of a depression screening program at a large university student health clinic. The project evaluated changes in depression screening rates due to the use of a provider educational session and the implementation of a depression screening tool within the clinic’s electronic sign-in forms. The results of this study showed a statistically significant increase in depression screening documentation with the standardized use of a depression screening tool and provider education, but also discusses the necessity of resources to provide appropriate evaluation and treatment. This pilot study shows depression screening can be effective within a primary care setting in which support resources are in place for the treatment of depressed patients.