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Posted: February 11th, 2024

MSN 705 Nursing Theory & Advanced Practice

Applied Medical Sciences

MSN 705 Nursing Theory & Advanced Practice

Concept Analysis Paper

Postpartum Depression & Postpartum Blues

Identification of Concepts and Associated Terms

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a form of depression that affects some women following childbirth, with about 15% of the population at risk. Symptoms may include mood swings, fatigue, guilt, and difficulty caring for oneself or the infant. Treatment options include medication and psychotherapy. It differs from postpartum blues, affecting approximately 1 in 7 new parents and often requiring professional intervention for management.

Concept of Postpartum Blues

Postpartum blues, experienced by 50-75% of new mothers, is characterized by mood fluctuations, crying spells, and anxiety, typically resolving within two weeks without treatment. It is distinguished from postpartum depression by its transient nature and milder symptoms.

Data Collection

Concept Analysis Method

Walker and Avant’s concept analysis approach was utilized to delve into the meaning, applicability, and uniqueness of postpartum depression. Observational studies and clinical research provided insights into its characteristics, causes, and outcomes, helping to construct a comprehensive understanding.

Search Strategies

A thorough literature review from 2015 to 2022 facilitated the collection of current information on postpartum depression and blues. Electronic databases such as CINAHL and MEDLINE were accessed to gather relevant articles in English, focusing on diagnostic criteria, screening methods, and treatment modalities.

Attributes of the Concepts

Identification of Uses of Concepts

Postpartum depression is widely recognized in medical and nursing fields as a significant mental health issue post-childbirth. Its detection involves recognizing depressive symptoms within the first year after delivery, emphasizing the importance of early identification and intervention.

Related Concepts

Related terms such as postnatal depression screening and detecting signs of postpartum depression highlight the multifaceted approach to addressing maternal mental health postpartum.

Attributes of Concepts

Key attributes of postpartum depression detection include the timing of screening, presence of risk factors, symptomatology, and outcomes. These elements guide healthcare professionals in identifying and managing the condition effectively.

Characteristics of the Concept


Factors preceding the occurrence of postpartum depression include awareness among healthcare providers and new mothers, effective screening methods, and timely medical attention. Addressing these antecedents enhances early detection and intervention strategies.


Implementing strategies for postpartum depression detection leads to improved access to mental health treatments, informed decision-making, and collaborative care between mothers and healthcare providers. Recognizing and addressing the consequences of postpartum depression positively impact maternal and infant health outcomes.

Identification of Exemplar of Concept

Exemplar of Concept

“Teetering on the Edge” theory by Beck provides a comprehensive understanding of postpartum depression and its implications for maternal and infant health. It underscores the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in safeguarding the well-being of both mother and child.

Implications for Future Research

Nursing Theory, Practice, and Research

Enhanced understanding and application of concepts related to postpartum depression and blues are vital for nursing theory, practice, and research. By integrating this knowledge into clinical practice, nurses can better support postpartum women and contribute to ongoing research efforts aimed at improving detection and treatment strategies.


Amankwaa, L. (2015). Maternal postpartum role collapse as a theory of postpartum depression. The Qualitative Report. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2005.1856
Abdollahpour, S., Bolbolhaghighi, N., & Khosravi, A. (2019). Effect of the Sacred Hour on Postnatal Depression in Traumatic Childbirth: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(2), 69–74. https://doi.org/10.15171/jcs.2019.010
American Psychiatric Association. (2022). What is depression? https://www.psychiatry.org/patientsfamilies/depression/what-is-depression American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Beck depression inventory (BDI). https://www.apa.org/pi/about/publications/caregive rs/practice-settings/assessment/tools/beckdepression
Bunevicius, L., & Kusminskas, R. (2019). P02-206 validity of the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. European Psychiatry, 24(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-9338(09)71129-0
Castle, J. (2008). Early detection of postpartum depression: Screening in the first two to three days. The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, 3(4). http://jlgh.org/JLGH/media/Journal-LGH-MediaLibrary/Past%20Issues/Volume%203%20- %20Issue%204/V3n4_Castle.pdf
Del Pilar Sánchez-López, M., & Dresch, V. (2018). The 12-item general health questionnaire (GHQ12): Reliability, external validity and factor structure in the Spanish population. Psicothema. http://www.psicothema.es/pdf/3564.pdf
Gjerdingen, D. K., & Yawn, B. P. (2017). Postpartum depression screening: Importance, methods, barriers, and recommendations for practice. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 20(3), 280-288. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2007.03.060171
Liberto, T. L. (2018). Screening for depression and help-seeking in postpartum women during wellbaby pediatric visits: an integrated review. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 26(2), 109-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2010.06.012
Beck, C. T. (2022). Teetering on the edge. Advances in Nursing Science, Publish Ahead of Print. https://doi.org/10.1097/ans.0000000000000432
Bourdieu & Wacquant. (2022). Learning and teaching qualitative research in Ontario: A resource guide. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from http://qualitativeresearchontario.openetext.utoronto.ca/chapter/use-of-theory-in-qualitative-research/
Cecilia Chou. (2022). The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. “Predictors of Postpartum Depression: An Update” (2001), by Cheryl Tatano Beck | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/predictors-postpartum-depression-update-2001-cheryl-tatano-beck
Debra Fulghum Bruce, & Johnson, T. (2022). Postpartum depression: Symptoms, causes, risks, types, tests, professional and self-care. WebMD. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/postpartum-depression
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