Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Joanne Minnick


The lifetime prevalence of clinical depression in patients living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is approximately 22% compared to 3% to 10% in the primary care population. The nursing practice problem at the project site concerned nurses' lack of knowledge and understanding of procedures to help ensure that all patients living with HIV/AIDS were properly screened for depression and referred for further evaluation and treatment. The purpose of this project was to implement a staff education module to address the use of the PHQ-9 screening tool to identify depression in people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The theoretical framework for this educational module was the theory of planned behavior. The practice-focused question explored the extent to which the implementation of an evidence-based practice education model in a primary care clinic treating patients living with HIV/AIDs would increase staff knowledge on the use of the PHQ-9 tool to screen for depression. A staff education project incorporating a pretest and posttest design was conducted to determine whether a significant change existed in the test scores of the participants between the pretest and the posttest. After completion, the posttest measures showed an improvement of 35%. The implications of this project for social change might include improvement in the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the nurses in the treatment of depression in adults living with HIV/AIDS.

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