Ginger Dowell


The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is rapidly growing among the general population. Researchers have identified only minimal empirical data regarding the SSRI-prescribing practices among primary care providers. The focus of this descriptive study was to explore SSRI-prescribing practices of primary care providers. Benner's (1984) Novice to Expert Model was the theoretical framework used to conduct this study. The research questions used to guide the research were as follows: What factors influence the prescribing practices of primary care providers regarding SSRIs? And what are the perceived competency levels of primary care providers in prescribing SSRIs? The research design was a nonexperimental, descriptive design. A convenience sample of all primary care providers in a rural area was utilized. Data were obtained through a self-report survey using a researcher-developed demographic survey and the Dowell Prescribing Practice Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and content analysis was used for any open-ended questions. The sample 1 1 1 consisted of 30 primary care providers. The study found that the most prescribed antidepressants were SSRIs. Lexapro was the most often prescribed, while Luvox was the SSRI least often prescribed. Side effects were the most influential factor in choosing an SSRI. The majority of respondents do not recommend any other type of treatment before prescribing an antidepressant. Of the respondents who do prescribe another type of treatment, professional counseling and exercise were recommended most often. Overall, the majority of respondents felt very competent prescribing SSRIs as well as answering patients' questions related to SSRIs. Recommendations for further research included replication of the study with a larger, more diverse sample of primary care providers and conducting research using participants who have been prescribed an SSRI.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

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First Advisor

Melinda Rush

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Included in

Nursing Commons