Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Haley Hoy


Depression (Mental)--Treatment, Medical telematics, Art therapy


Depression is one of the most prevalent illnesses worldwide, with rates increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression can present with sleep disturbances, sad mood, and suicidal ideations that greatly reduce quality of life. While art therapy has been shown to improve depressive symptoms, access is limited. Art therapy via telehealth maintains the benefits with increased accessibility by removing transportation and distance as barriers to care. The purpose of this project was to offer the benefits of art therapy via telehealth to patients diagnosed with depression who had not been offered art therapy through their mental health clinic. The population was adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) undergoing psychiatric treatment at a Florida outpatient practice. Participants had varying racial, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This clinical practice change initiative introduced an adjunctive treatment option to an existing psychiatric practice. Providers and therapists within the outpatient offices advised clients of art therapy availability. The clients were then screened for appropriateness and educated on the intervention. Participants received an art kit by mail and met virtually with the project lead for four weekly individual sessions. Each session consisted of an opening discussion to introduce the therapeutic topic, time for creation, and a debriefing discussion for homework and goal setting. Participants completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), pre- and postintervention. Descriptive statistics were analyzed to assess differences between pre- and postintervention scores. There were 16 participants. The average of the PHQ-9 scores decreased by 33.2% post art therapy and MADRS scores decreased by 23.9 %. This intervention demonstrated that art therapy via telehealth can be an effective adjunctive depression treatment while being both accessible and convenient. Considering the efficacy, nurse practitioners can consider completing training to offer art therapy or referring their patients to art therapy. Future efforts towards expanding awareness and insurance coverage could help make art therapy a more sustainable offering from mental health nurse practitioners.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 11, 2025