Graduate Publications and Other Selected Works - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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The adolescent years are a formative time when rapid hormonal and physical changes stimulate the developing mind. Exposure to poverty, abuse, violence, and lack of peer and social support causes an increase in vulnerability to the development of mental health problems. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated symptoms of depression and anxiety. Regardless of the risk factors, anxiety and depression continue to be significant health problems, affecting thousands of adolescents yearly in the United States. The first-line treatment recommendation for managing anxiety and depression symptoms is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, access to a provider for CBT treatment is not always an option for many reasons. This pilot evidenced-based practice project aims to increase access to skills acquired through CBT and improve adolescents’ mental health by implementing a brief and evidenced-based CBT program in a school setting. The CBT program for this project is the Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE) for Teens program consisting of seven 50-55-minute sessions. The COPE program was delivered to 22 students in a 7th grade health class. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Modified for Adolescents (PHQ-A) measured anxiety and depression scores at baseline, post-intervention, and two-month follow-up. Results indicate clinically significant improvements in anxiety and depression scores and showed participant satisfaction.

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