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More patients were screened for depression during primary care visits as a result of a quality improvement (QI) project in Virginia, boosting the rate of identification of this condition that became three times more prevalent during the COVID pandemic (Blackstone et al., 2022).

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Routine depression screening is recommended by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force but is infrequently accomplished. In the primary care setting, 14% of patients are estimated to have a major depressive disorder; in more than half of these people, the condition remains undetected (Mitchell et al., 2009).


The QI project used the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) method that created a standardized process with an automated electronic health record workflow. Nurses incorporated the PHQ-2 (Patient Health Questionnaire) into patient encounters; if the screening score was elevated, the patient filled out the full PHQ-9 questionnaire and the provider was alerted. Follow-up patient education was included in the primary care visit.


The QI project using the PDSA approach resulted in a 22% increase in depression screening without demonstrably adding to the healthcare team's workload.


Blackstone S. R., Sebring A. N., Allen C., Tan J. S., Compton R. (2022). Improving depression screening in primary care: A quality improvement initiative. Journal of Community Health.[Context Link]


Mitchell A. J., Vaze A., Rao S. (2009). Clinical diagnosis of depression in primary care: A meta-analysis. Lancet, 374(9690). 609-619.[Context Link]



Monitoring blood glucose or blood pressure are health practices easier to follow with the proliferation of mobile apps. However, most older people don't use such apps (Gavin, 2022). The National Poll on Healthy Aging (2022) showed that 44% of people over age 50 have not tried a health app on their smartphone, wearable device, or tablet. About 28% of older adults use one app, typically for tracking exercise, sleep, or weight. More than half of the respondents polled are open to or interested in using an app for diabetes management.


Another finding of the poll is that people who could most benefit from an app to improve their health monitoring and practices are those with lower incomes or education levels. Kakulla (2021) noted that research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) revealed that during the pandemic, older adults bought and used much more technology. Many older people are interested in using technology to track their health, noted Indira Venkat, AARP's Vice President of Consumer Insights (Gavin, 2022). Although more older adults have smartphones or tablets compared with a decade ago, barriers include lack of awareness of their use for health monitoring and mistrust of the security of health apps.


Michigan Medicine's Preeti Malani believes healthcare providers can increase usage by discussing benefits of health apps with older clients (Gavin, 2022).


Gavin K. (2022, February 9). Health apps could help older adults, but most don't use them. Michigan Medicine Health Lab.[Context Link]


Kakulla B. (2021). Older adults embrace tech for entertainment and day-to-day living. AARP Research.[Context Link]


National Poll on Healthy Aging. (2022). Mobile health app use among older adults. University of Michigan.[Context Link]



Jason Gaboury writes the following in an NCF blog post, illuminating three encouraging words that offer powerful, pleasant, and uplifting perspectives for personal and professional outlooks.


Pray that God will give you and your Christian colleagues an outpouring of joy! "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth" (3 John 1:4, NIV).


Compassion comes as we see and notice the needs of people and decide to allow these needs to move us. Ask God to give you a heart of compassion. "Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble" (1 Peter 3:8, NIV).


What if people who call themselves Christ-followers were the most hopeful people in their spheres of influence? Pray for God to fill you with hope. "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27, NIV).


Gaboury J. (2021, August 24).