Screening for depression in older district nursing clients: feasibility study

Russell John Nunn, Merilyn Annells, Jane Sims

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Depression is a common condition among older district nursing clients. This two-cycle feasibility study trialled a process for depression screening by using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) with a sample of older clients in an Australian district nursing organization. An education session about depression and use of the GDS preceded the screening process. The trial found that a number of barriers existed among participant nurses regarding screening for depression, although generally they acknowledged depression as a common problem among older clients and most believed that they potentially had a important role in the identification and support of clients with this condition. Lack of knowledge emerged as a major constraint, as did uneasiness about entering the mental health area, with some reluctance to use the GDS because of the type of questions included and not wanting to be intrusive regarding the emotional matters of clients. Recommendations are offered about screening for depression with this client population
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108 - 114
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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