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NCLEX® Question of the Day: Perinatal Depression Risk Screening

Osmosis Team
Published on Aug 10, 2022. Updated on Aug 18, 2022.

Today's NCLEX-RN® question of the day focuses on risk factors for developing perinatal depression.

The nurse is conducting a perinatal depression risk screening on a client who is 39-weeks pregnant. After reviewing the client’s electronic medical record (EMR), which finding should the nurse identify as a risk factor for developing perinatal depression?

Name: Osmosis, Kelly

Gender: Female

Age: 29 years

Date of Birth: 10/05/1992

Admitting Diagnosis: Intrauterine pregnancy at 39 weeks

Obstetric history:  Gravida: 2

Term: 0

Pre-term: 0

Abortions: 1

Living: 0

Medical History: Urinary tract infection

Psychiatric History: Posttraumatic stress disorder

Surgical history: Wisdom tooth extraction

Social history: Cigarette smoking - daily

Family history:   Alcohol abuse (father)

Cardiovascular disease (paternal grandfather)

A. Age

B. Number of pregnancies

C. History of urinary tract infection

D. History of post-traumatic stress disorder

Scroll down for the correct answer!

The correct answer to today's NCLEX-RN® Question is...

D. History of post-traumatic stress disorder

Rationale: History of depression, trauma, premenstrual syndrome, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder increases clients’ risk for developing perinatal depression. This client’s history of post-traumatic stress disorder is considered a risk factor.

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Main takeaway

The main risk factors for perinatal depression include having a family or personal history of trauma, such as sexual abuse, as well as a history of depression, premenstrual syndrome, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Clients who are younger than 25 years-old, single, or have an unwanted pregnancy, as well as those who struggle with stressful life events before or after delivery are at an increased risk. In addition, clients who have inadequate social or financial support, those who smoke, and those who have difficulty breastfeeding also seem to be at an increased risk.

Incorrect answer explanations

A. Age

Rationale: Clients younger than 25 years of age are considered at increased risk for perinatal depression. Therefore, this client’s age does not put her at risk.

B. Number of pregnancies

Rationale: The “Gravida” portion of the obstetric history indicates how many pregnancies the client has had. From the client’s obstetric history, the nurse can determine that this is the client’s second pregnancy. There is no association between the number of pregnancies and perinatal depression. Therefore, this is not a risk factor.

C. History of urinary tract infection

Rationale: A history of urinary tract infection (UTI) is not a risk factor for perinatal depression.


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