American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference
American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference
June 30, 2017
1 min read

Depression screening lacks in patients with diabetes

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PHILADELPHIA — Depression and other psychological concerns in patients with diabetes suggests that the appointment ‘check-in’ with these patients is very important, according to a presenter here at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Kristel McGhee, BSN, RN, CNRN, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Katherine Kenny, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, dean, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University discussed how an internal medicine practice handled its patients with diabetes. She also did additional research that showed a link between depression and diabetes and further complications when the depression is missed.

“We found ... that not a lot of follow-up appointments or phone calls were being made and not a lot of follow-up diabetic measures were being taken,” McGhee told Healio Family Medicine in an interview. “This complicates their disease process and increases risks for ED admissions, hospitalizations and other complications related to diabetes.”

McGhee and Kenny cited data that indicate up to 30% of adults with diabetes have coexisting depression, and that patients with major depressive disorder have a mean lifespan of 25 to 30 years less than the average person, underscoring the need to find time to screen patients for depression.

“Depression is one of those areas I think that [medical professionals] kind of pass the buck on because they are so afraid now of running over that 15-minute window.... It’s so important that these questions be asked,” McGhee said.

The PHQ-9 is one tool clinicians can use to screen for the disorders, McGhee and Kenny wrote in their poster. – by Janel Miller


Kenny K, McGhee K. “Depression screening and glycated hemoglobin levels: Diabetes follow-up measures.” Presented at: American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference; Jun. 20-25, 2017; Philadelphia.

Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.