Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Committee Chair

Jill Parker


Background. Nurses experience depression at twice the rate of the general public. Personal depression stigma may complicate the issue by creating a barrier to help-seeking behaviors. This study sought to determine if depressed nurses have a higher rate of personal depression stigma than non-depressed nurses. Method. This study used a quantitative study design and a convenience sampling method of nurses at a community hospital. Data was obtained using a web-based survey that included the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 item depression scale (PHQ-9) and the Depression Stigma Scale – personal (DSS – personal). The total depression score (TDS) was used to divide participants into groups of depressed and non-depressed. Mean scores of the DSS-personal were analyzed. Results. Twenty percent of surveyed nurses met the criteria for depression with a TDS of 10 or greater. The non-depressed group had a mean DSS-personal of 10. The depressed group had a DSS-personal mean of 9. An independent samples t-test indicates there was not a statistically significant difference in the mean DSS-personal scores between each group. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that 20% of nurses employed in a community hospital in NC have moderate to severe depression. Personal depression stigma scores were not statistically different between depressed and non-depressed nurses. These findings contradict the authors assumptions that personal depression stigma among depressed nurses may hinder help-seeking behaviors, therefore contributing to the high rate of depression in nursing. This information contributes to the body of knowledge regarding depression in nursing. Future studies are recommended to determine if these findings are an accurate representation for all hospital employed nurses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.