Identification of Depressive Signs in Patients and Their Family Members During iPad-based Audiovisual Sessions

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Home parenteral nutrition requires a daily life-sustaining intravenous infusion over 12 hours. The daily intravenous infusion home care procedures are stringent, time-consuming tasks for patients and family caregivers who often experience depression. The purposes of this study were (1) to assess home parenteral nutrition patients and caregivers for depression and (2) to assess whether depressive signs can be seen during audiovisual discussion sessions using an Apple iPad Mini. In a clinical trial (N = 126), a subsample of 21 participants (16.7%) had depressive symptoms. Of those with depression, 13 participants were home parenteral nutrition patients and eight were family caregivers; ages ranged from 20 to 79 years (with 48.9 [standard deviation, 17.37] years); 76.2% were female. Individual assessments by the mental health nurse found factors related to depressive symptoms across all 21 participants. A different nurse observed participants for signs of depression when viewing the videotapes of the discussion sessions on audiovisual technology. Conclusions are that depression questionnaires, individual assessment, and observation using audiovisual technology can identify depressive symptoms. Considering the growing provision of healthcare at a distance, via technology, recommendations are to observe and assess for known signs and symptoms of depression during all audiovisual interactions.

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