Date of Award

Summer 8-2000

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Jean Haspeslagh

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Anna Brock

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Pat Kurtz

Committee Member 3 Department



The purpose of this study was to determine whether family and adult nurse practitioners were able to diagnose and treat the depressed patient in the primary care setting. The sample included 28 adult and family nurse practitioners who had been practicing as NPs for at least one year and who were currently employed in the primary care setting. The researcher used five case studies that were developed by the investigator to portray different levels of depression. The study demonstrated a fair ability to diagnose depression. but not to recognize the different levels of depression. It also demonstrated a lack of knowledge in appropriately treating the depressed client in the primary care setting. The implications of this study to nursing education include regular updates on diagnosis and treatment of the depressed patient, a more comprehensive curriculum of the nurse practitioner's education, and the use of experts in the field to educate the practitioner students.