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  1. Peters, Laura L. DNP, RN, FNP
  2. Ambardekar, Amrut V. MD
  3. Rosenthal, Laura D. DNP, RN, ACNP, FAANP
  4. McIlvennan, Colleen K. DNP, RN, ANP


Background: Patients with a heart transplant and depression have higher rates of graft failure and noncompliance.


Local Problem: The heart transplant clinic had no standardized approach to assess for depression.


Methods: The heart transplant clinic implemented routine use of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ).


Interventions: Team members were educated via an online module about depression. A process for depression screening and follow-up was developed and implemented.


Results: 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. Median time to administer PHQ2 was 2 minutes (range 1-3 minutes).


Conclusions: Implementation of universal depression screening in a heart transplant clinic is feasible, identifies patients with depression, and does not add significant clinical burden.