Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Between 2013 and 2016, 8.1% of U.S. adults 20 years and older suffered from depression, but only 29% of them sought help. This project addressed the low depression screening rate in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that supported integrated care. The purpose of the project was to evaluate the integration of behavioral health into primary care in an FQHC through the rate of depression screenings. Two theoretical frameworks, the find-organize-clarify-understand-select/plan-do-study-act model and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's framework for program evaluation in public health were combined into a list of questions and data validity tests that were used to conduct the evaluation. This quality improvement (QI) project evaluated an existing QI initiative. Findings revealed that 75% of the patients seen, and not the initially reported 53%, received depression screenings, which indicated an improved outcome. Other findings were inadequate use of theoretical frameworks, poor data quality, and suboptimal effectiveness of QI team processes. The strategies and tools recommended in this project could be used by organizational leaders and QI teams to evaluate and improve QI initiatives. The project's contribution to awareness about depression through integrated care could increase patients' access to care, quality of life, and life expectancy, and positively impact social change.