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The Impact of Comorbidity of Depression and Anxiety on Outcomes of Illness


The Impact of Comorbidity of Depression and Anxiety on Outcomes of Illness

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 Overview of Teaching Strategy

The impact depression and anxiety can have on outcomes of medical procedures and illness is significant. Older adults do not always present in the same way as a younger population regarding symptoms related to these illnesses.  It is not uncommon for health care professionals to miss or ignore a diagnosis of depression or anxiety because they feel the symptoms are fully explained by the situation.  A missed diagnosis can have detrimental effects on outcomes, transition back home, and return to functioning.

In this Teaching Strategy the student will meet Eugene Shaw, an 82 year old former marine who served in the Korean War.  This teaching strategy focuses on Eugene's hospitalization for vascular problems related to his diabetes and subtle hints that he may have an underlying depression or anxiety. The activities are directed at evaluating, and better understanding, the complexities of these diagnoses compounded with his medical problems. In addition the student will explore the general impact of stress, depression and anxiety on outcomes when seen in concert with chronic illness.

Learning Outcomes
The student will: 

  • Identify behaviors that may indicate a mood disorder
  • Identify behaviors that may indicate anxiety
  • Develop an understanding of the difference between depression and difficulty coping
  • Identify tools that could be useful in assessing cognition and mood
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of depression and anxiety on outcomes of physical illness 

ACES Essential Nursing Actions 

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordination and Management of Care
  • Make Situational Decisions 

ACES Essential Knowledge Domains 

  • Individualized Aging
  • Vulnerability During Transitions
  • Complexity of Care
  • Assess function and expectation 

NLN Education Competencies 

  • Nursing Judgment
  • Human Flourishing
  • Spirit of Inquiry

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