depressed nurseA new study published in the May/June issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist found that 18% of hospital-employed nurses experience depressive symptoms – that is twice the rate of the general public. According to the study, nurses with depression are not only likely to suffer themselves, but their illness may have an impact on their coworkers and potentially the quality of care they provide.

In a survey of nearly 1,200 hospital-employed nurses, the researchers used the PHQ-9, a nine-item self-reporting tool developed for use in primary care. In addition to identifying the prevalence of depression, the researchers also found that factors such as body mass index, job satisfaction, and having other of health problems had a significant relationship to a higher total depression score.

Susan Letvak, PhD, RN, one of the researchers on the study, said that while she knows that nursing is a tough job, she was still “really surprised” by the study results.

Findings concluded that advanced practice nurses can assist with educating nurses on recognizing depression and confidential interventions, including the use of computerized cognitive-based therapy.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…are you surprised by these findings?