Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project



Background: Depression is the most common of mental disorders in the United States affecting a significant portion of the population. Despite the serious consequences of untreated depression, depression screening remains a challenge across healthcare settings prompting the United States Prevention Task Services to develop strong recommendations to improve screening and treatment. Yet, despite those recommendations, lack of knowledge about depression screening continues to impede this process. The presence of substance use in individuals affected by depression worsens the severity of either condition alone. Considering the frequency of co-occurring substance use and depression, it becomes vital that staff working at substance abuse facilities receive adequate training to improve depression screening skills in this sub-population.

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase knowledge of depression screening skills for clinical staff working at a psychiatric rehabilitation facility.

Methods: A total of 15 participants completed an online pretest survey to assess their baseline knowledge on depression screening. This was followed by a virtual education module delivered online via PowerPoint presentation. Then, 4 weeks after, participants completed an online posttest survey to evaluate knowledge gained.

Results: Pretest survey results revealed knowledge deficit regarding guidelines about depression screening, depression screening skills, and a misguided attitude and negative perception regarding depression. Posttest shows significant improvement in all categories with an overall improvement of 41%.

Conclusion: The overwhelming improvement in scores shows the effectiveness of educational interventions to improve depression screening skills and competence and the impact of evidence based training overall in improving patient care.