Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara L. Gross


Depression is a mental illness that requires prompt identification and treatment due to grave consequences if untreated. Depression can affect a person's level of functioning, lead to worsening health conditions, comorbid substance abuse, and suicide. Despite these facts, the current state of nursing practice includes an inadequate diagnosis of patients with depression, lack of guidelines for the use of assessment tools and diagnostic tests to identify depression, and insufficient information concerning the accuracy of depression assessment tools. This systematic literature review examined 6 depression assessment tools in regard to their accuracy as identified by specificity, sensitivity, reliability, and validity. This project also examined the pros and cons, demographics, and healthcare settings that use these depression inventory tools. This project used the Orlando nursing process theory as a theoretical framework. Based on the review of 10 articles selected, evidence showed that the Hamilton depression rating scale has the highest sensitivity (93%) and specificity (97%) rates. The implications for positive social change include the opportunity for clinicians to use the findings of this project in their selection of depression assessment tools in healthcare settings. Other researchers can use this project as a valuable resource for management of major depressive disorders.

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