Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Practice Recommendations for Depression
3.1 Nurses should maintain a high index of suspicion for early recognition/early treatment of depression in order to facilitate support and individualized care.
3.2 Nurses should use the diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV-R to assess for depression.
3.3 Nurses should use standardized assessment tools to identify the predisposing and precipitating risk factors associated with depression.
3.4 Nurses must initiate prompt attention for clients exhibiting suicidal ideation or intent to harm others.
3.5 Nurses must be aware of multi-component care strategies for depression.
3.5.1 Non-pharmacological interventions
3.5.2 Pharmacological caregiving strategies
3.6 Nurses need to facilitate creative client/family/community partnerships to ensure quality care that is individualized for the older client with depression.
3.7 Nurses should monitor the older adult for re-occurrence of depression for 6 months to 2 years in the early stages of recovery and ongoing for those with chronic depression.

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