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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Depression and coronary heart disease: Improving patient outcomes in outpatient cardiology practice
by Lochner, Mary Beth, D.N.P., The University of Arizona, 2011, 169; 3457288
Abstract (Summary)

Strong evidence has been found to link the diagnosis of CHD with depression, and patients with all CHD-related diagnoses and co-morbid depression display higher morbidity and mortality from CHD than those individuals without depression. Screening and treatment of depression by cardiology clinicians continues to be limited due to poor symptom recognition and lack of desire to treat perceived primary care conditions in specialty practice. The American Heart Association has designated timely assessment and treatment/referral of depression as primary goals for high-quality evidenced-based cardiology care to improve patient outcomes in CHD.

This study employed a quasi-experimental descriptive pretest-posttest study design for the purposes of (1) understanding diagnostic and treatment practices for depression in the presence of CHD by nurse practitioner and physician cardiology providers (n=35) in a large metropolitan private outpatient cardiology practice and; (2) adaptation of a valid and reliable depression screening tool (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) to an existing electronic medical record system for use in the sample practice.

Findings from the study showed that even though all providers (100%) believed that depression inhibited patients' ability to make positive CHD risk-reducing lifestyle changes, and the majority (73.7%) felt that depression contributed to the progression of CHD, no formal screening for depression was being performed. Less than half (42.1%) of providers in the sample treated depression in their clinic practice, and the large majority (89.5%) referred patients back to primary providers for all depression care.

Since 2008 guidelines for depression care by cardiology providers were recommended by the American Heart Association (endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association), it is questionable if these recommendations are filtering down to outpatient cardiology practice. Provider education to improve confidence with depression screening and treatment, and provision of concise easy-to-use care templates in outpatient EMR systems may help to improve compliance with recommendations while maximizing patient outcomes for depressed CHD patients.

Advanced practice nurses have been consistently instrumental in the development and management of performance-enhancing processes that improve care quality and patient outcomes. As nursing practice leaders, nurse practitioners should be progressive in supporting implementation of best-practice for depression care in outpatient cardiology practice settings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moore, Ida K.
Commitee: Crist, Janice, Ritter, Leslie
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Nursing
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medicine, Nursing
Keywords: Coronary heart disease, Depression, Nurse practitioner, Out patient practice, Physicians
Publication Number: 3457288
ISBN: 978-1-124-67550-3
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