Comparing Depression Screening Scores in Adult Female Patients in Primary Care and Correlating Extent of Social Desirability on the Depression Scores

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Chairperson

Dr. Anne Barker

Committee Member

Dr. Susan DeNisco

Committee Member

Catherine Milne


Depression is a common mental health disorder diagnosed in the primary care setting, and yet over 50% go undiagnosed due a number of patient, system, and provider barriers that have been well documented in the literature. Women are twice more likely to be diagnosed as men, and are particularly vulnerable during childbearing years and in menopause. Social desirability, or the tendency to present oneself in favorable way, is one potential patient barrier, and has been documented in previous research as a criticism of self-report tools, especially those with socially sensitive questions. The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to compare two standardized, psychometrically, short form depression screening instruments, the BDI-FastScreen© (Beck Depression Inventory) and PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire), in women age 18 and over presenting for an appointment in one primary care practice. A second goal of the study was to determine for each female patient the extent to which social desirability was related to the depression score using the short form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale.


A practice dissertation presented to the faculty of the College of Nursing, Sacred Heart University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.