Effect of Clinical Coaching on the Health Workers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Towards the Use of the Patient Health Questionnare-9 Tool in HIV Care at Atiak HCIV in Amuru District, Northern Uganda

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Abstract Background: Worldwide depression is a concern, especially in people living with HIV. In low- and middle-income countries, its identification continues to be difficult in lower-level healthcare facilities. Specific assessment tools for depression such as Patient Health Questionnare-9 (PHQ-9) are accessible tools that can be implemented to support and improve detection in clinical settings. Health workers in lower-level facilities are not trained to use the PHQ-9 tool, and yet they are in a better position to screen and improve depression detection. Addressing healthcare workers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices using a clinical coaching strategy can increase the efficacy of the PHQ-9 tool. This study aimed to analyze the effect of clinical coaching on the knowledge, attitude, and practices of health workers towards the use of the PHQ-9 assessment tool in an HCIV in Northern Uganda. Method: A one-group pretest-posttest cross-sectional study that employed consecutive sampling was used among 34 health workers. A 5-hour clinical coaching interventions were implemented, and a structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data pre- and post-interventions. Descriptive statistics and the significance of the observed difference were assessed with SPSS version 22. Result: There was a significant difference before (M=70.8, SD=3.3) and after (M=90.6, SD=2.6) the coaching intervention on knowledge, t(33) =11.4, p= <0.001, a significant improvement in the scores for before (M= 3.32, SD=0.42) and after (M=3.58, SD=0.31) clinical coaching intervention in attitude; t(9) = -4.77, p = 0.001, and a significant improvement in the optimal practice scores from the baseline (58.8%) and after clinical coaching intervention (85.3%), p = 0.023. Conclusion: Generally there was a noticeable improvement in the knowledge, attitude, and practices of health workers regarding the use of the PHQ-9 tool after clinical coaching intervention. Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, practices, clinical coaching, PHQ-9, and depression screening.