Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Fall 2014

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Antidepressants, Patient Education, Treatment

Subject Categories

Medical Pathology | Mental and Social Health | Nursing


According to The World Health Organization, depression is the fourth leading cause of total disease burden and the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reflect a 16.2% lifetime depression prevalence. Symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe and can be episodic or chronic. Depression has a high rate of comorbidity with multiple chronic diseases and other mental health disorders, predominately anxiety. Unfortunately, few Americans diagnosed with depression actually receive sufficient treatment and symptom management. Previous research has shown that individuals are more likely to seek treatment for depression in a primary care setting than a mental health specialty clinic, especially individuals of ethnic and racial minority populations. Approximately 50% of individuals suffering from depression are receiving no pharmacological or psychotherapeutical services (Shim, Baltrus, Ye, & Rust, 2011). Current research is investigating the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), and its role in the diagnosis, progression, and treatment of depression (U.S. National Library of Medicine [NLM], 2000, para. 2). This research provides insight into the mechanism of action of antidepressant medications and expands the available knowledge to facilitate more thorough patient education regarding the benefits of treatment.



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