Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Robert Anders


The DNP project examined the effectiveness of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Collaborative Care Model (CCM) as a practice protocol for patients suffering from depression in primary care to address the problem of a shortage in mental health specialists. Research reveals an increase in Americans suffering from depression. Many primary care clinics do not have a practice protocol in place to screen and manage depression. The project's purpose was to develop a lesson plan to instruct staff on the PHQ-9 and CCM to implement into their practice. The project questions were if the lesson plan developed by the DNP student to instruct primary care staff on the PHQ-9 and CCM for depressed patients would be deemed valid by the expert panel and whether the staff education would provide the clinic staff with the knowledge necessary to implement the practice protocol in their clinic. Knowles's theory of learning guided the staff education plan. An expert panel of 6 professionals validated the staff education plan. The staff education was offered to 2 nurse practitioners and 3 nurses and their knowledge assessed by a pre-posttest analysis. Staff evaluation of their learning was analyzed and recommendations for future offerings provided. It was determined that the staff instruction plan would be an effective method for teaching the practice protocol to other primary care clinics to screen and manage patients with depression. Positive implications for social change are that more primary care providers will screen and treat patients with mental illness. Thus, avoiding referrals as much as possible to mental health professionals. The protocol enables the primary care providers to provide mental health assessment and treatment within an integrated primary care setting.