Initiation of standardized depression screening in college health: A quality improvement project

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2018 Springer Publishing Company. Background: Depression is a leading health concern in college health. An on-campus health clinic was identified as conducting complaint-based screening. U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends standardized screening in all primary care settings. Objective: To implement a quality improvement project for standardized screening and referral of depressive symptoms and identify factors related to mentoring program interest in a college health clinic. Methods: Demographic survey and Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) were distributed to students who met inclusion criteria. Positive screens received further intervention with Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and immediate evaluation, encouragement of follow-up, or educational handout. Results: Of students receiving primary care services at a college health center, 221 completed demographic surveys, 165 completed the PHQ-2, and eight students received interventions for positive screens. Furthermore, 74.6% of students expressed interest in a mentoring program. Conclusions: The project demonstrates ease of standardized screening in the college health setting without excessive burden to staff or budget. This is a critical preventative care measure for improving early detection and management of depression at college health centers. Implications for Nursing: Initiation of standardized screening on college campuses is a worthwhile investment and should be implemented by registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice nurses. Support program initiation should be considered to help students with unmanaged symptoms.

This document is currently not available here.