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Detecting and managing depressed patients : palliative care nurses' self-efficacy and perceived barriers to care

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2012, 00:00 authored by M McCabe, David MellorDavid Mellor, Tanya Davison, David HallfordDavid Hallford, Denisa Goldhammer
Background: Depression is a highly prevalent yet under-recognized and under-treated psychiatric illness in patients receiving palliative care. Nurses are the front-line health care professionals in these settings and are well-positioned to detect depressive symptoms and initiate pathways to care. Previous research suggests, however, that nurses' confidence and skills in relation to this task are low, and there appear to be a number of barriers within these settings that may impede nurses' engagement in this process.

Methods: To further investigate these factors, a quantitative study was carried out with 69 palliative care nurses from three palliative care services in Australia.

Results: A number of issues were identified, including the need for further training in the signs and symptoms of depression, issues around discussing depression with patients and their family members, and difficulty differentiating depressive symptoms from grief.

Conclusion: These findings provide insight into specific areas in which palliative care nurses would benefit from further training to improve detection rates for depression in this vulnerable population.

History

Journal

Journal of palliative medicine

Volume

15

Issue

4

Pagination

463 - 467

Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Location

New Rochelle, N. Y.

ISSN

1096-6218

eISSN

1557-7740

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.