The problem, issue, suggestion, initiative, or educational need that will be the focus of the project The setting or context in which the problem, issue, suggestion, initiative, or educational need can be observed.

A clinical problem that is relevant to primary care settings will be the topic of this capstone project. This project will focus on the problem of depression in adult patients who have chronic conditions.

Depression can lead to a variety of mental disorders, including depression, which is often associated both with diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, and other chronic illnesses. Chronic medical conditions and depression have poorer clinical outcomes and healthcare usage, as well as higher healthcare costs than patients without either of these conditions. Even though there is a validated tool for diagnosing depression (such as the Patient Heart Questionnaire-9, PHQ-9), it’s not being used in clinical practice.

A primary care clinic will serve as the setting for this project. It serves an adult population with chronic illnesses and serves diverse populations. It is centrally located and staffed with primary care professionals, nurses and medical assistants. Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic pain are included in the patient pool.

A PHQ-9 tool-based evidence-based depression screening program is proposed for primary care. Training primary care practitioners, nurses, and assistants will be involved in the implementation of the PHQ-9 screening protocol. A standard procedure for administering this tool to patients will also be developed.

Project’s educational purpose is to enhance the abilities of medical assistants, primary care nurses and nurses in diagnosing and treating depression among chronically ill patients. These healthcare providers will have the opportunity to gain knowledge about depression screening and how evidence-based tools can be used.

The proposed capstone topic, which is based on evidence-based screening methods for depression in adults with chronic conditions and primary care settings, is: It will include the development of a depression screening protocol using PHQ-9, as well as education for nurses, primary care practitioners, and other medical professionals on how to identify and manage depression in chronically ill patients. This project can improve patient outcomes, lower healthcare usage and cost, and increase primary care provider’s involvement in managing mental health disorders.

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