Depression in palliative care settings: The need for training for nurses and other health professionals to improve patients’ pathways to care.


In my current nursing education at NYU we talk a lot about depression in the older adult, the close relationship it has with dementia and the complications it presents to the health care providers when trying to provide adequate patient centered care.  This is one of the reasons this article caught my eye:  a recent literature review looking at the barriers of health care professionals in their ability to offer pathways of care to patient’s experiencing depression in palliative care settings.    This is an important topic because of the sheer number of people who experience or are prone to depression while coping with chronic illness and/or comorbitities.  The abstract is included below- happy reading.
–  Andy

Abstract:  Depression is highly prevalent in patients receiving palliative care; however, detection rates are low, with many patients who suffer with depression continuing to go undetected and untreated. A number of factors unique to this setting, as well as issues relating to staff knowledge and self-efficacy working with depression, may impede the detection of patients who are depressed by professional health care staff. Although programmes aimed to train nurses and other allied health staff in depression may be an effective way to improve detection rates, there have been few studies investigating the efficacy of these interventions. This article draws upon recent literature to provide a narrative review of barriers to detection and factors relating to professional palliative care staffs’ ability to provide pathways to care for patients who suffer with depression in this setting. Previously evaluated training programmes are reviewed and the argument is made that further development and empirical evaluation of depression training interventions for staff in this setting will provide services with evidence-based methods of training nurses and other professional care staff and improve the pathways to care for patients who suffer with depression.


Journal: Nursing Education Today


Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Resource Type:

Journal Article


Hallford DJ, McCabe MP et al