Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a system of incorporating research findings into nursing practice so as to improve the therapeutic outcomes. (Polit, F. D & Beck, T. C, 2010). “The evidence based practice places particular emphasis on the use of evidence, in particular research findings, in clinical decision making”. (Parahoo, K, 2006). During past clinical exposures, the issues regarding post natal depression were found as a less explored one because of the complex involvement of both mental health nursing and maternal and child health nursing. “Postpartum psychosis is a manifestation of a life time vulnerability to affective disorders with child birth as the precipitating factor” (Spinelli, M. G, 2009).The focused clinical question discussed here, which is an important element in an evidence based practice is as follows; How effective is the education of nurses about postpartum depression in helping to identify and reduce postpartum depression among new mothers in a maternal ward or community?. According to the PICOT strategy for formulating EBP questions, here, the population is ‘new mothers’, the intervention is education of nurses about postpartum depression and outcome is ‘identify and reduce postpartum depression’.
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The clinical settings chosen for this focused clinical question is maternal ward in a hospital as well as community settings. It is based on the general assumption that initial care will be given in a Hospital maternal ward followed by contact care given in community settings. Having a baby is a joyous moment, but for some women it also brings worries as well as stress. Many recent study reports highlight alarming rates of occurrence of post natal depression. About 10% of new mothers suffer from the most severe form of post natal depression.(Science Daily, 2010). It is evident that, being the closest aid of a post natal delivered woman, maternal and child health nurse can do a lot in identifying and reducing post natal depression. Here, an attempt is made to explore and analyse the educational aspect of nurses in alleviating the said problem. The online databases chosen for this assignment is CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) . A systematic search strategy has been carried out using key words such as postnatal depression, postnatal emotional disturbance, puerperal depression, perinatal depression, psychosis, nursing care, nurse knowledge, nursing care, and education. More than 700 results were yielded initially when postnatal depression used as the key words.
The results were narrowed by choosing the publication dates between January 2000 and December 2010. Results were further sorted by re arranging them in a date descending order and a suitable article titled ‘Detection, treatment and referral of perinatal depression and anxiety by obstetrical providers’(Goodman ,J,H, Tyer-Viola, L, 2010) obtained. Key words were combined by using Boolean operator ‘AND’. The combination of key words postnatal depression and nursing interventions generated 4 results, and among them, two results with titles, ‘Improving the postnatal outcomes of new mothers’ (Morse C, Durkin S, Buist A, and Milgrom J, 2004) and Comparison of effects of nursing care to problem solving training on levels of depressive symptoms in post partum women’ (Tezel, A and Gozum, S, 2006) were found relevant for the focused clinical question.