Brief Treatment Strategies for Major Depressive Disorder: Advice for the Primary Care Clinician

Ivan Valdivia, PhD Candidate; Nadine Rossy, BAC, PhD Candidate


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2004;4(1) 

In This Article


Advanced practice nurses are in a unique position to assume the role of either primary or adjunct clinician in mental health disorders. The previous section suggested that nurses can have a significant effect on their patients by doing things that they are already trained to do, such as providing psychoeducation and encouraging treatment compliance. With additional training and self-education in the fundamentals of psychotherapy in general and behavioral techniques in particular, advanced practice nurses can then implement a behavioral activation program, which is currently an integral component of CBT. However, in addition to the techniques described, nurses can also take part in the assessment process, identify peripheral health problems, and monitor treatment response. When nurses are knowledgeable about and experienced in empirically validated treatments for depression, more people will be treated, more will be treated effectively, and thus, some of the strain on the healthcare system will be relieved.


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