Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Depression is a common and disabling mental illness, but the loneliness, isolation, and poor quality of life associated with depression may improve with treatment. Depressive patients adhere to their treatment and experience better outcomes when their family members are involved with their treatment. At the project mental health facility, patients with depression had the highest non-compliance rate to treatment and no educational program existed for their families. This observation led to the current practice-focused question which examined how an evidenced-based educational program can be developed for family members or caregivers of patients diagnosed with depression. The purpose of this project was to assemble a team of experts to develop and plan an educational program about living with depression for family members or caregivers of patients diagnosed with depression. This project was guided by Jean Watson's theory of human caring and the view of health as harmony of mind, body, and soul. The educational program was planned using reviewed research studies with the input of a team of local experts consisting of a psychiatrist, a licensed therapist, a mental health nurse practitioner, registered nurses, and medical assistants. The project resulted in a four session educational program, a manual of policies and procedures, and recommendations for implementation and evaluation of the education. The educational program resulting from this project has the potential to improve the health and well-being of patients with depression and their families, decrease the stigma they face, and contribute to positive social change.