Beck's Theory of Postpartum Depression

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Beck's Theory of postpartum depression
Theory is an attempt to explain the world around us. It is defined as a set of concepts, definitions, and propositions that projects a view of phenomena by designating specific interrelationships among concepts for purposes of describing, explaining and predicting phenomena. In the world of healthcare the nurse through the understanding of theories attempt to explain why nurses do what they do. Nursing theories are the creative products of nurses who seek to thoughtfully describe relationships and interactions that exist within nursing practice (Ingram, 2009). Nursing theorist Cheryl Tatano Beck (1949- present) developed a middle-rang theory that focused on postpartum depression (PPD). Beck identified a significant gap in maternal care specifically in regard to maternal blues, she wrote: “What has not been given equal priority in postpartum follow-up care, however, is the mother’s psychological status, more specifically, the phenomenon of maternity blues. Early discharge mothers are at home when the blues usually occurs during the first week after delivery. Specific assessment for maternity blues should routinely be part of the nurse’s assessment of these mothers during home visits” (Lasiuk & Ferguson, 2005, p. 131). Beck, after reviewing research on the topic of maternity blues began clarifying the differences among the concepts of postpartum psychosis, postpartum depression, and maternity blues (Lasiuk & Ferguson, 2005, p. 131). This paper seeks to explore Beck’s theory of postpartum depression, its significance in nursing practice, and how it addresses the concepts of the metaparadigm of nursing; person (man), health, environment and nursing. Importance of Nursing Theory

All nursing theory should lead to enhance nursing practice. Through theory, knowledge is gained and enhances the empowering of nurses; it aids in deliberate action and provides rationale when challenged, and provides professional autonomy by guiding practice, education and research. Theorists recognized the intrinsic value of theory for nursing as a means for defining and directing the profession and providing a base for further theoretical development, and if we consider that nursing is a science, then theory development is a fundamental activity (Ingram, 2009). Theory is also important to enhance communication in nursing; the way in which theory is expressed will influence its potential for communication between, theorists, researchers, and practitioners, and ultimately its applicability in practice. The importance of nursing theory is that it is purposeful and is of value to the development of practice from a developing body of nursing knowledge (Ingram, 2009). Lasiuk & Ferguson (2005, p. 128) noted that according to the American Nurses Association theory development should be the primary goal of the nursing profession. Summary of Beck’s Theory

In 1992 Beck’s theory of postpartum depression was based on quantitative research design by collected data from interviews of women who attended PPD support groups. Beck identified 45 significant statements about women’s experience of PPD and identified 11 themes which explicate the fundamental structure of PPD (Lasiuk & Ferguson, 2005). The following year (1993) Beck extended those findings into a grounded theory of PPD, titled Teetering on the Edge. Beck chose a qualitative approach to the topic because she believed that the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a widely used instrument to detect depression, failed to accurately capture the horrifying experiences that she saw in her clinical practice (Lasiuk & Ferguson, 2005). This theory was developed to better understand PPD and to express it in a clear concise way that both professionals and public could digest. This was achieved by developing screening tools; promoting acceptance of PPD as well as interventions and treatments. This grounded theory has been classified as a middle-range theory,...
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