Practice Methods Among Nurse Practitioners Treating Depressed Women

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ObjectiveTo determine practice methods and beliefs about degree of competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of depressive symp-toms in women by nurse practitioners (NPs).Data SourcesA survey about the diagnosis and treatment of depressive symptoms in women was mailed to 3,000 NPs randomly selected from the mem-bership of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Family, adult, women's and gerontological NPs were included; 1,647 surveys were returned (55%).ConclusionsAssessment and treatment protocols used by NPs were consistent with the AHCPR guidelines and similar to the protocols used by psychiatrists and non-psychiatric physicians, yet only 65% believed their education had adequately prepared them to assess/diagnose depression and only 52% believed they had been adequately prepared to treat depression.Implications for PracticeFindings suggest areas for improvement in the formal education and continuing education of NPs.

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