Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


The purpose of this DNP Project was to explore the feasibility of implementing a depression screening protocol as a component of COVID-19 contact tracing procedures. Multiple studies have established that in young adults, depression prevalence has increased during the pandemic. A cross-sectional 18-item survey was developed and administered with a convenience sample of contact tracers and administrators at a large public university. The transtheoretical model (also known as the stages of change model) developed by Drs. Prochaska and Diclemente (1992) guided the development of several survey items. Eleven people completed the web-based survey. Participants reported depression was a significant problem among persons contacted during contact tracing interviews. Several contact tracers “contemplated” the need to include depression screening as part of the contact tracing interview but did not feel comfortable screening and referring individuals with a positive screen. A number of steps were identified by the survey respondents to “prepare” for mental health screening activities including staff education, a mental health referral list, and a readily available evidence-based screening measure. Further investigation will be needed to develop staff training and support for depression screening procedures during contact tracing.