The vulnerable population of single low-income mothers and their children are at risk for poor health: physically, socially, and psychologically. As a nurse, I know the importance of performing a complete nursing assessment to provide the best nursing care. It is helpful to use available assessment tools to evaluate and fully assess the patient. Nurses need to be knowledgeable in assessment tools to expand the assessment process and evaluate clients in various stages and states of health, illness, stress, and life. In this paper, I will discuss and analyze three assessment tools: The Beck Depression Inventory, The Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire, and The Family Hardiness Index. Beck Depression Inventory
According to the Center for Psychological Studies (2010), the BDI is used to measure the presence and degree of depression. This self-reporting questionnaire measures depression symptoms, such as headache, constipation, loss of appetite, backache or chronic fatigue (Viinamäki, Tanskanen, et al., 2004). It is a straightforward, low-cost, easy to use, 21-item test presented in multiple-choice format. The BDI is intended to be used in research and clinical settings to assess depression in adults and adolescents 13 and older. Administration of the BDI takes approximately five minutes. The test is either self-administered or verbally administered by trained personnel. Each item is a list of four statements about a particular symptom of depression, such as loss of appetite and sleep loss, and they are arranged in increasing severity. Validity and Reliability
The BDI has been used for over 35 years to identify depressive symptoms and is reported to be highly reliable in being able to distinguish depressed from non-depressed patients. The new version showed improved clinical sensitivity, with the reliability of the BDI–II scoring higher than the BDI (Center for Psychological Studies, 2010). Recently, the BDI has been updated and the name changed to BDI-II. The BDI-II conforms more closely to the diagnostic criteria for depression and specifically assesses for depression by identifying the presence and severity of symptoms. This increased the validity.
Even though mood disorders are common in the general population, many people suffering from depression remain undiagnosed (Viinamäki, Tanskanen, et al., 2004). Because many low-income single mothers lack self-esteem, self-confidence, and adequate coping skills, leading them to feel isolated and alone, this vulnerable population is especially at risk for depression. The nurse can use the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess each patient for signs and symptoms of depression. Using this tool within the nursing assessment will help the nurse to differentiate patients experiencing symptoms of depression. This will then allow the nurse an opportunity for teaching and information on therapy, counseling, or outpatient psychiatric follow-up can be provided to the patient. Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire
The Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire is self-administered, low-cost, and measures multiple dimensions of social support including affect, affirmation, and aide. Nine categories are used to determine sources of support, and size, stability, and accessibility of those sources are measured. “The Social Supports Questionnaire measures include: the kinds of help and support that the parent/caregiver and youth received from people in the past 6 months, and the kinds of people who helped the parent/caregiver and youth in the past 6 months” (Kernan & Morilus-Black, 2010, p. 258). Adults and adolescents 13 or older are asked to list the first names or initials for each significant person in his or her life, such as spouse, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. The patient then labels the kind of relationship he or she shares with each person listed Finally, the patient then rates and describes the amount of support available from each person...