Universal Depression Screen of Ambulatory Heart Transplant Recipients with Referral for Mental Health Intervention: A Quality Improvement Project

Video Author:Peters, Laura L. DNP, RN, FNP; Ambardekar, Amrut V. MD; Rosenthal, Laura D. DNP, RN, ACNP, FAANP; McIlvennan, Colleen K. DNP, RN, ANP

Published on:August 16, 2021

Patients with a heart transplant and depression have higher rates of graft failure and noncompliance. The heart transplant clinic implemented routine use of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). From July 2018 to February 2019, there were 834 visits; PHQ2 screens were completed during 779 (93%) of those visits with 40 (5%) positive screens. All 40 patients had PHQ9 assessment, with 33 patients (4%) exhibiting moderate or severe depressive symptoms. All 33 patients were provided with mental health resources and received follow-up. Implementation of universal depression screening in a heart transplant clinic is feasible, identifies patients with depression, and does not add significant clinical burden.