Project Coversheet

Date of Award


Degree Type

DNP Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)




Hector R. Morales, DNP, APRN, PMHCNS-BC


Jana Gainok, DNP, APRN, FNP-C


Working with geriatric patients, I have had a firsthand view of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their well-being. While visiting my patients in their homes, I have become aware of several issues. These were highlighted in my practice review, during which I documented the diagnoses and interventions used in my practice with my geriatric patients in a 10-day reflective log. In particular, reports of anxiety drew my attention. In my practice, I have noticed that I assess anxiety by accepting self-reporting. Within the ten days covered in the reflective log, 15 out of 26 patients reported uncontrolled anxiety. A review of the literature identifies the GAD-7 as an accurate tool for assessing anxiety in the geriatric community. Thus, this QI project activity aims to assess anxiety in the geriatric population using the GAD-7 anxiety screening tool. United Health Group (UHG) Optum have agreed to allow me to carry out my quality improvement (QI) DNP project. After receiving IRB approval from the University of Texas at El Paso, I carried out my QI project for four weeks, using the GAD-7 to screen 94 patients, 32 of whom reported moderate anxiety. Of those, 19 had already been prescribed anxiolytics, and 13 had not. I referred all patients to their attending providers for medication adjustment or the initiation of medication treatment. This QI project provides a foundation upon which I may implement the use of the anxiety screening tool among the geriatric population in my current practice setting.