How Well do Providers Screen for Depression and Suicide in Adolescents?
Godsey, Judi Allyn
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<p>Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. Research indicates that suicide can be prevented with early screening and treatment. More than 50% of patients suffering from some form of mental disorder are seen only by their primary care provider. This data suggests that screening measures within the primary care setting can be instrumental in identifying risk behaviors among adolescents who<br />may be considered at risk for depression and suicide. This descriptive, comparative, quantitative study examined the documentation of primary care physicians, pediatricians and nurse practitioners regarding high risk behavioral indicators that could signal depression or suicide potential in their adolescent patient population (aged 12-17). A random, convenience sample of 102 charts was performed. The conceptual framework as defined by the Quality Assurance Model Using Research (QAMUR) was utilized. Descriptive statistics revealed that all provider types documented some level of risk behavior indicator assessment. A significant difference was found in the number of risk behavior indicators documented between primary care physicians and pediatricians (F=2.80, p=0.072) and between primary care physicians and nurse practitioners (F=2.80, p=0.026). No significant difference was found between the mean number of risk behaviors documented by nurse practitioners and pediatricians.</p>