Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


Obesity in the United States has increased to epidemic numbers over the last decade. Practitioners need to reverse the trend. To address the problem of depression in obesity, a practice guideline from a bariatric clinic for under-served populations was proposed to an expert panel. The Spell Out on First Use (PHQ-9) screening is a valid and reliable self-screening tool to assist the practitioner in determining the level of depression if any. The PHQ-9 has nine questions. No formal screening existed at the bariatric clinic, and the practice guideline (with algorithm and revised workflow) was proposed for use at the clinic. The expert panel consisted of the medical director, a surgeon, a psychiatrist, and a nurse practitioner at the clinic. The expert panel reviewed the materials and made one recommendation: to implement the PHQ-9 upon intake when the patient is being admitted to the program, and the panel recommends administering PHQ-9 prior to assessment by practitioners All panel members were in agreement about full implementation of the practice guideline, provided that an educational program on the revised workflow in the clinic was first presented. The expert panel also reviewed and approved the algorithm and the treatment pathways identified for patients to use in the practice after the results of the PHQ-9 are compiled. It is expected that use of the depression screening tool and recommended guidelines in the bariatric clinic will result in more effective treatment for the patients and thus better outcomes-a significant positive social change.