Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn Coleman

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lisa Morgan

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Depression is a mood disorder that has affected lots of people worldwide. Depression is a disease that affects an individual's social functioning, relationships, and finances. Individuals with depression may have feelings of sadness, loss of interest in formerly enjoyed activities, hopelessness, irritability, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating and sleeping changes in appetite, or chronic generalized aches and pains. Over the recent year, there has been a rise in individuals presenting to the primary care providers with symptoms of depression. Mental disorders attribute to one of the leading causes of disability in the United States.

Healthcare providers in the primary care setting have the greatest opportunity to screen for depression. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends depression screening in primary care for all adolescents (age 12), adults, pregnant women, and postpartum women (Maurer et al., 2018). The use of depression screening tools such as the PHQ2 and PHQ9 is useful in diagnosing and treating depression. This study utilized the Revised Depression Attitude Questionnaire (R-DAQ) tool to assess healthcare provider views and knowledge of depression in a rural clinic in northeast Mississippi. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to develop and implement an evidence-based depression screening protocol in the primary care setting to increase early detection, initiation of treatment, and continuation of care. A depression screening protocol was developed to use as a guide for healthcare provider decision-making in the treatment of depressed patients. Utilizing these tools, providers were able to identify several individuals with depression and suicide ideations.