Nurses Cite Regulatory, Competency Barriers to Caring for Depression in Home Health Patients

June 19, 2015 | Aging Services Risk Management


​Although they expressed confidence in their abilities to care for home health patients' physical disabilities, nurses responding to a survey were less confident in being able to care for patients' mental health concerns, including mild to moderate depression, according to a study in the June 2015 Gerontologist. The respondents, 16 home health nurses with at least one year of experience caring for patients over age 60, cited regulatory and competency barriers. From the regulatory perspective, they noted that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services eligibility criteria cause them to consider physical health needs more strongly than mental health needs and that the fluctuating status of patients' chronic conditions can change their eligibility for benefits.

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